Date of Award

1-8-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Early Childhood Education

First Advisor

Dr. Caroline C. Sullivan

Second Advisor

Dr. Rhina Fernandes-Williams

Third Advisor

Dr. Joyce Many

Abstract

Teacher mentor and induction programs have recently gained traction over the past several decades to provide teachers new to a school a professional support system in the hope that this prevents them from leaving. However, the establishment and implementation of these programs for teachers remain inequitable, notably among schools in high-needs areas. In some schools experiencing a high rate of teacher attrition, little assistance is provided to those teachers new to the school for overcoming simple survival strategies and instead of sustaining professional growth. This study is significant because it examines and seeks to fulfill the needs of new teachers and mentor teachers via a mentorship program that honors the school culture and specific professional needs in which these teachers are working. Through a socioconstructivist lens, this qualitative narrative inquiry study investigated the mentorship experiences and needs of mentors and mentees in a diverse elementary school setting to understand their cultural proficiency, professional capital, and procedural knowledge. The data collected used semistructured individual interviews with the mentees and mentors, the researcher's narrative beginnings, a researcher's journal. After the data was collected and analyzed, three narrative threads arose: (1) universal mentoring, (2) opportunities for cultural proficiency, and (3) professional goals. The findings of this study conclude the importance of mentorship for retaining teachers while making further recommendations for improvements at the local and district levels.

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