Passing the torch: a case study of mentor-mentee relationships in the teaching profession

Clarke, A. Ruth (2015) Passing the torch: a case study of mentor-mentee relationships in the teaching profession. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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“Google was my only mentor!” These were the words of a novice teacher who desperately wanted the support of a senior mentor. “If you are a teacher and you cannot be considered a mentor, what does that say about your professional being?” asked a senior teacher actively involved in mentoring her novice colleagues. These sentiments are indicative of the stories shared by teachers in this study that explored (1) the motivations of senior teachers who become mentors and (2) the representations of novice teachers regarding the contributions of their senior mentors. Situated in the interpretive constructivist paradigm and using the lived experiences of mentors and mentees, participant stories were collected and analyzed in the context of rapid enrolment decline and limited hiring of new teachers in Nova Scotia. While senior teachers indicated that they entered into mentoring relationships with a sense of duty to the profession, the novice teachers reported that help was not always forthcoming. An undercurrent that novices had to pay their dues to the profession was suggested. Both mentors and mentees were probed as to the value they placed on the mentoring relationship and data analysis indicated all participants greatly valued the experience. An examination of the themes emerging from the data include a discussion of the effects of school culture on the motivation of senior teachers to engage as mentors and the use of a network of mentors to encourage and develop the professional growth of novice teachers.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11559
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 146-152).
Keywords: mentor, mentee, novice teacher, senior teacher, mentorship, Nova Scotia, school culture, network of mentors
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: May 2015
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Nova Scotia
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mentoring in education--Nova Scotia; Master teachers--Nova Scotia; Mentoring in business--Nova Scotia; Teachers--Attitudes--Nova Scotia

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