A Study of Mentors and Beginning Teachers in Catholic Elementary Schools
The purpose of this study was to examine whether the training mentors of beginning teachers in Catholic elementary schools was helpful in providing the mentors with the knowledge and skills to become effective mentors. This study also investigated the perception of support mentors give to beginning teachers and the perception of support received by the beginning teachers. Both the helpfulness of the training and the perceptions of support were assessed by two online surveys, the Mentor Teacher Survey and the Beginning Teacher Survey, which were developed and piloted by the researcher. Data was obtained from 96 mentor teachers and 35 beginning teachers in the six Catholic dioceses of Ohio: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Steubenville, Toledo and Youngstown as well as two dioceses in Colorado: Colorado Springs and Denver in the 2010-2011 school year. Statistical analysis of the helpfulness of the training the mentors received was conducted. Mentors responded that the training was helpful in acquiring the knowledge and skills to become an effective mentor and to provide support to beginning teachers. The perception of support mentors gave to beginning teachers and the perception of support received by the beginning teachers was studied using the mean scores of the responses. The data revealed that both the mentor and the beginning teacher perceived support was given and received. The major finding of this study was that the training mentors received to acquire the knowledge and skills to become effective mentors were helpful and significant. The training helped mentors support beginning teachers in Catholic elementary school. The components of the training can and should be universal among Catholic dioceses reaching down to each Catholic school and each beginning teacher in a Catholic school.
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