Beyene and colleagues (2002) defined mentoring as a process in which two people engage in a mutually beneficial mentor-mentee relationship. Practically, the role of the mentor is also reflected within the definition. For example, the mentor's role is to serve as a model of appropriate attitudes, values, and behaviours for the mentee; to convey unconditional positive regard; and to provide a forum in which the mentee is encouraged to talk openly about anxieties and fears. At work, the mentor should interact informally with the mentee, thus maintaining a positive and informal relationship. Beyene and colleagues (2002) state that the role of the mentor is to provide emotional support, information, advisement; to share values, facilitate access to key networks, motivate, be a role model, and protect the mentee. Also, the mentor should provide activities that allow for shared information.
The purpose of mentoring in educational setting can often be both complex and highly difficult at times. Common mentor programs have similar purposes and those include helping someone inexperienced learn a new job, improving instructional performance via modeling by an experienced teacher, attracting the best candidates by using mentoring as a recruitment tool, and responding to local or state mandates.
From the critical perspective, there are several key things that can make an individual a stronger, more effective mentor in education setting. It has been encouraged that individual mentors not forget the importance of serving as a nurturer. Often, when workloads become heavier and deadlines quickly approach, the nurturing component can be mistakenly abandoned. Through...
In an earlier quantitative study, Stroot and colleagues (1999) surveyed 85 first-year teachers in a large urban school district. The survey focused on the components of teaching and the role of the mentor. The researchers asserted that mentoring programs are necessary to assist first-year teachers in transition into the urban school setting. Often, first-year teachers are not given the transition support necessary for classroom success; thus, mentoring can provide much needed assistance to ensure success in the classroom both for the mentee and for the students. According to Darling-Hammond (2003), mentoring is a strategy that will retain first year teachers in the field. Everston and Smithey (2000) conducted a study with two school districts to examine the efficacy of using a research-based mentoring program to assist mentor teachers in supporting their mentees. The researchers collected data using questionnaires, narrative records, classroom observations, weekly summaries of mentoring meetings, and ratings of student behaviours in the classroom. Everston and Smithey (2000) noted that mentees of the mentors who participated in a research-based mentoring program were more organised, managed instruction at the beginning of the year, and established more workable classroom routines. Additionally, the mentees noted better student behaviour in the classroom. Overall, trained mentors were able to provide more effective support to their mentees.