Informal Mentors Supporting Beginning Teachers in Professional Confidence and Classroom Management at a Private School
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact of informal mentoring on new teacher statements of professional confidence and perceptions of classroom management. The study was designed to use experienced teachers to help mentor new teachers adjust to their first year of teaching including: developing aspects of classroom management, adjusting to the school community, and developing and improving professional confidence levels. The study gathered data from surveys and interviews to determine new teacher perceptions about the support they were receiving and the effectiveness of adding an informal mentor to guide them in their first year of teaching in a private, all-male, high school setting. Five themes emerged as most relevant to the expressed supports and needs of new teachers. School community, curriculum, student issues, professional confidence issues, and classroom management were cited as the most important issues by the participants. Overall the informal mentoring program showed results indicating that it provided the supports needed and wanted by first year teachers especially in the areas of assisting with classroom management challenges and improving professional confidence levels.