February 2006


Dr. Karen L. Parker

Primary Subject Area

Education, Teacher Training


beginning teacher mentoring program, new teacher mentoring program, beginning teacher retention, new teacher retention


This descriptive study examined the perceived effectiveness of a beginning teacher mentoring program in a public school district in Central Virginia. A total of 87 participants, including beginning teachers, new-to-district teachers, mentor teachers, and administrators were surveyed about the perceived effectiveness of the teacher mentoring program and general demographic information. In addition, 17 of the survey respondents were interviewed as a follow-up to the study. A 5-point scaled survey questionnaire based on Virginia’s guidelines for teacher mentoring programs was the primary means of assessment. Results from the study indicated that the teachers and administrators surveyed had overall positive perceptions of the effectiveness of the beginning teacher mentoring program in their school district. On a 5-point scale where a mean of 3.00 or higher was considered positive, 95% of the 20 items related to perceived effectiveness of the mentoring program had means of 3.00 or greater. The lowest overall mean on any survey questionnaire item was 2.92 (S.D = 1.33), which addressed whether mentor teachers provided feedback to their mentees on a regular basis. Suggestions for program improvement from the interview participants included developing ways in which mentor teachers and their mentees could have more adequate observation and feedback time; providing in-service training for mentor teachers that would more fully equip mentor teachers for the mentoring task; and developing a system of ongoing program assessment that would effectively insure that the goals of the mentoring program are being fulfilled.