CHEYMERE MANUEL — Mentoring matters in retaining, energizing new teachers

Published 12:14 am Saturday, May 25, 2024

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To reverse the high teacher turnover rates, more districts are leaning toward mentoring as an option to retain educators.

The first year on a job can be incredibly challenging, and the uncertainty can be extremely stressful and can pose many problems. Mentoring is a valuable resource that helps new teachers maximize their effectiveness in the classroom and increase student achievement.

It is an opportunity for educators to share knowledge, ideas and information with teachers who are entering the field.

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The goal of mentoring should be that a highly qualified and experienced teacher supports a struggling novice teacher to become an effective and culturally diverse educator.

Research shows that mentoring decreases teacher turnover rates. The more support a teacher has from an experienced mentor, the more organized, well planned, and well prepared they will be.

Mentors can provide new teachers with materials and ideas that improve lesson plans and student outcomes. Also, mentors can provide a wealth of knowledge to improve the preparation and implementation of lesson plans through meetings and observations.

It is very important that the mentor uses research-based pedagogical practices to grow their mentee into an effective teacher.

Bob Hope School takes pride in providing new teachers with constant feedback that highlights their strengths and gives them the tools to be an effective teacher.

Our mission is to promote growth in both new teachers and mentors, as mentors develop interpersonal and coaching skills to build relationships and guide mentees in deepening their understanding of instructional pedagogy and professional responsibilities.

To ensure that the mentoring program is successful, Campus Directors pair an experienced teacher with a new teacher. As part of the mentoring program, mentors and mentees complete a checklist of items monthly.

Such items include at least one observation in which the mentor observes the mentee and then provides feedback. The mentee also observes the mentor so that they can internalize and implement effective instructional strategies.

Additionally, mentor and mentee review the lesson planning process, evidence-based teaching practices, and required instructional programs.

Cultivating and retaining new educators is crucial, especially considering the crisis that education currently faces with a nationwide teacher shortage and the public’s diminished perception of the profession.

When resources are allocated to develop and grow teachers, student outcomes improve.

New teachers face a great deal of anxiety in the form of various pressures; these include an increased focus on accountability when it comes to student academic outcomes and the demands of the many different roles a teacher now must perform in the life of a student.

In this regard, Bob Hope School’s mentor program is an invaluable resource for the teachers that we employ across the district yearly.

Cheymere Manuel is the Bob Hope Beaumont campus director. She can be reached at