The Effectiveness Of Induction Mentor Support During Beginning Teachers' First Individual Learning Plan (ILP) Cycle: A Multiple Case Study

This multiple case study examined the mentoring supports provided to induction candidate teachers during their first four-month Induction Learning Plan (ILP) Cycle of New Teacher Induction. Although studies (e.g., Darling-Hammond, 2002, 2016; Richter et al., 2013) demonstrate mentoring positively affects the transition from pre-service preparation to classroom teaching, little is known about the process by which this occurs, particularly how mentoring approaches support or impede new teacher development. The purpose of this study was to understand how mentors support beginning candidate teachers (CTs) during their first four months of teaching as they develop and implement their Individualized Learning Plan (ILP). Four secondary CT and mentor pairs from Dewey Unified School were interviewed, and documents and artifacts from their first ILP were analyzed. Results indicated the district’s induction program was perceived as highly effective in developing new teachers’ inquiry skills and learning to teach. Mentors attributed the program’s success to an effective program director; whereas, CTs attributed the success to the availability of their mentors. CTs valued their mentors’ knowledge and experience and the just-in-time instructional and emotional support and continual guidance they provided. Recommendations included: pairing candidate teachers with onsite mentors who teach the same subject/grade, providing mentors access to CTs’ preservice program Individual Development Plans (IDPs), reducing the amount of induction paperwork, adding more classroom observations, and engaging in more critical discussions of CTs learning to teach, Conclusions, implications, limitations and directions for further research are discussed.