Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
There has been little research on what is necessary for a mentoring relationship to be considered successful from the novice teacher's perspective. Although researchers have asserted that mentoring promotes new teacher retention and improves new teacher skills, new teachers are still leaving the profession, causing a shortage of teachers in school districts across the United States. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the meaning of a successful mentoring relationship from the perspective of 6 selected elementary teachers who have been in the teaching field fewer than 5 years and who have participated in a mentoring relationship for more than 2 years with the same mentor. Social cognitive theory was used to examine the mentoring relationship. Interview questions were used to examine participants' perceptions and experiences of their mentoring relationship and the impact of that relationship. Novice teachers participated in face-to-face, semistructured interviews, which were recorded and transcribed. The Modified van Kamm method was used to analyze the transcribed interviews. These results were reviewed, coded, and organized into categories and themes. The findings indicated that the experiences which had the greatest impact on the 6 novice teachers were time spent with the mentor, communication, quality of the relationship, and support from the mentor. The implications for social change may include improved mentoring programs for school districts in order that new teachers remain in the teaching profession. These results can also be used to inform mentor teachers in developing improved and more effective mentoring relationships.