Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Susan Schramm-Pate

Abstract

The present action research study examines first-year teachers’ perceptions of the mentoring component of the New Teacher Induction Program (NTI Program) and specifically levels of helpfulness of their mentors in the Eastern Georgia School District (pseudonym). The Eastern Georgia School District (EGSD) lacked a comprehensive induction program; therefore, EGSD developed the NTI Program to assist first-year teachers as they transition into their professional careers. The data set comprises a survey and semi-structured interviews collected at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Descriptive statistics and an inductive analysis allowed data to be analyzed and interpreted. Findings of the study indicate, the first-year teachers in the EGSD perceive the mentoring program to be ‘very helpful’ to ‘extremely helpful’ with the majority of first-year teachers’ perceptions being ‘extremely helpful’. Three distinct patterns identified from the data collected and analyzed include: professional growth, emotional support, and feelings of isolation, which emerge into one broad theme: the need for intentional and ethical caring. The action plan is designed to improve mentor selection and training, and to create more flexibility with teacher observations. A reciprocal plan to continually add the voices of the first-year teachers to the NTI team is an additional focus of the action plan

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