Mentoring can improve novice teacher effectiveness and reduce teacher attrition, yet the depth and breadth of mentoring can vary greatly within and between schools. The purpose of this paper is to identify the extent to which a school’s administrative context is associated with the focus and frequency of novice teacher-mentor interactions.
By estimating logistic regression models, the author identified the association between novices’ perceptions of their working conditions and the content and frequency of interactions with their formally assigned mentors.
When novice teachers perceived positive administrator-teacher relations in their schools and reported that administrative duties did not interfere with their core work as teachers, they were more likely to frequently interact with their mentors around issues of curriculum.
Studies of new teacher induction need to more fully account for elements of school-level organizational context which influence novice teacher-mentor interactions, specifically related to administrative decision making and climate. Future research should seek to identify the extent to which formal policy related to new teacher induction is supported by broader elements of the organizational context.
In addition to implementing sound formal policies related to teacher mentoring, school administrators should seek to foster a school climate that promotes administrator-teacher and teacher-teacher collaboration to promote improved teacher mentoring.
This study builds upon previous research by drawing attention to the association between broad measures of school-level administrative context related to the quality of working conditions and teacher mentoring.
This work was supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York (grant number B 8034); and Michigan State University (grant number 05-IRGP-334).
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