Hi all, I am doing some research on mentoring - specifically the kind of mentoring new teachers receive as they enter the work through the first few years of their professional lives. I am looking not just at formal programmes, but also informal mentoring by experienced teachers and peers which is often more powerful. Is there anyone out here who has ideas of where and how I could have access to teachers who have been in the profession less than 3 years who would be willing to take an online survey? I'm sort of new to interacting online and am not sure what might be a good way to do this.

Tags: help, mentoring, research

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I would love to take the survey and find out more about the topic of informal mentoring.
We just started a small platform for educators call educators 2.0. Its supposed to become an informal hotspot for teachers to share their experiences with each other.
Thanks for replying. Informal mentoring is a very interesting process. Traditionally mentoring has been informal in that an experienced professional would notice potential in someone younger and less experienced, and take them under their wing by giving advice, introducing them to important contacts and helping the younger person learn as well as get noticed in the profession. What then happened was organizations began formalizing mentoring programmes - so they match new and experienced people up with hopes of nurturing organizational identity, skills as well as career paths for the new person. In medicine and teaching especially mentoring was seen as critical to helping new practitioners gain expertise. However the research shows that often - and especially in teaching - formalizing the mentoring process has not been very successful. Teachers for example still gain their best guidance and learning informally through other experienced teachers they encounter in their schools - the teacher in the next classroom, someone you sit next to at lunch etc.

In my study I am exploring the motivations of mentors - why they choose to help younger professionals and how they do it. So the survey I want to run is to find young teachers who will nominate someone they felt had a positive formative influence on them.

May I add you to my list of possible survey participants?, and when the survey is ready I would like to invite you to participate.
I'm not sure. I'm only in my second year of teaching, have been through a formal mentoring program and experienced informal mentoring as well. I'd be more than happy to take your survey.
Hi Jessica .... happy holiday greetings and thanks for your response and your willingness to take the survey. We're still waiting for the final version to be approved etc and then i will be back in touch with you. Thanks SO MUCH.
We have a formal 2 year mentor program at our district- new teachers attend a four day orientation/induction, then workshops throughout the year where we explore best practices, reflect, and network. I am one of the two teachers who have been reassigned as a full-time mentor. I have been able to create relationships with teachers throughout the district- new and veteran alike, and since I also am a technology integrator many teachers ask me for assistance and support. So my day is filled with formal and informal mentoring.

If you get the survey to me (are you doing it through google forms?) I can look at it and possibly send it out to our new teachers for them to take.
Dodie
Hi Dodie

thanks so much for your response. The survey will be on Survey Monkey and we can send you a link that you can send out to teachers. All they have to do it click on the link and fill out the survey. I'll send you the link as soon as we have gotten our approval (we hope very soon after we get back to our Spring semester Jan 18th).

It's great to know that your district has full-time mentors. We're finding in our research that frequency and intensity of contact is a critical factor in good mentoring. I am also interested in the 2 year mentoring program - it sounds rather like the one in California where I am located, but here, the formal mentoring can be a hit or miss depending on the frequency of contact. Sometimes the mentor is not at the same school or grade level and then it can be ineffective, and because it is both a support and assessment program sometimes the relationship is not really one of mentoring (what we are defining as positive, formative professional influence. Does your district mentoring program have a website I can check out? I downloaded something on the internet called Smart Start that referred to the Union Endicott CSD - is that you?

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