Mentoring Programs in Small Districts: Helping New Teachers Thrive
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New teachers continue to leave the profession at high rates although retention rates vary from school to school, districtto district, and state to state. Many districts have implemented mentoring programs to improve retention of and support for new teachers in their schools. Often these models rely on full-time release mentors, which is prohibitive for small districts in terms of cost and personnel. The author studied five small districts that used published standards to create and implement mentoring programs that fit district needs and resources. In this qualitative study, the researcher identified three areas of significance to the mentoring programs: Importance of relationships, becoming part of the profession, and implementation of a well developed plan. Implications for other small districts planning to implement a mentoring program and impacts of Adult Learning Theory on designing a mentoring program are also discussed.