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Teaching our Teachers: The Value of Teacher Mentorship Teaching our Teachers: The Value of Teacher Mentorship

Teaching our Teachers: The Value of Teacher Mentorship

Lauren Gilchrist Lauren Gilchrist Mentorship Memorializer
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Teacher. The very definition of the word says this person instructs another. But teachers must also be students, and that's where school leaders can step in.

To create a solid teacher mentorship program is to strengthen the culture of a district: when teachers know leaders have their best interest in mind, their commitment to a district is cemented. Mentorship is vital in education. Without proper instruction, teachers will lack the guidance they need to be most effective. Research shows a well-designed mentor program lowers the attrition rate of new teachers. In fact, 20% of new special ed teachers surveyed said they stayed a second year because of the mentoring they received. 

Mentorship not only helps new teachers improve their teaching, but also serves as a professional development opportunity for the mentor. We sat down with veteran fourth-grade teacher, Amy Parks, to talk teacher mentorship. Here’s what she had to say about her experience: 

Being a mentor is fun and rewarding, though the time it consumes can also pose challenges. However, mentorship programs are worth it—and are especially important for the growth of new teachers. 

Amy also drew on her experience to offer advice for schools and individuals interested in starting mentor partnerships.

In an ideal mentorship program, schools will set aside time for mentors and mentees to work. They’ll also look at personalities when pairing instructors. The duo should see their partnership as a team effort, and realize it’s okay to have different opinions. 

Looking for more advice? Check out 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Effective Teacher Mentorship.

Whether mentors are assigned through a district mentorship program, or teachers find partners to work with on their own, it’s crucial that relationships are built which help both mentors and mentees become the best they can be. As district leaders set up new mentorship plans and programs, asking teachers to share their perspective can go a long way toward developing a strong school culture.

Follow-Up Resource: The Elusive Coaching Culture 

Imagine a work environment where transparency outweighs fear, growth defeats insecurity, and positivity reigns supreme. This is what a coaching culture looks like. 

Lauren Gilchrist Lauren Gilchrist Mentorship Memorializer
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