School leaders’ views on mentoring and newly qualified teachers’ needs.
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School leaders are in a position to make decisions that influence beginning teachers’ first year in school. The leaders’ attitudes to new teachers and mentoring have an impact on such teachers’ professional possibilities. Through open-ended interviews, this qualitative study investigates how school leaders perceive newly qualified teachers’ needs and mentoring. The data analysis reveals that their views vary. While some see the beginning teacher’s need mainly as a need for information about practical solutions, rules and routines, others want to support the teacher’s professional development. Generally, the mentor role is perceived as being concerned with informing and guiding. The mentors chosen are mainly teachers with senior positions and experience in teaching. Few of the school leaders view being a mentor as a professional activity or perceive education for mentors as necessary for mentoring. The consequences of the school leaders’ perceptions of mentoring new teachers will be problematised in the article.
Copyright 2014 Eva Sunde & Marit Ulvik