April 10, 2011
Audrey E. Lane
Mentoring vs. Induction Programs
Many new teachers are not prepared when they enter the system as an educator. Some did not anticipate the heavy work load, low pay, stress or lack of resources that comes with teaching and as a result 15 percent of teachers leave the field after their first year (Kauchak). Some districts and states have come up with plans to help keep new teachers and lower that turnover rate. Two such programs are mentoring programs and induction programs. Many people confuse these terms or think they are the same, when in fact, they are very different. Mentoring means to serve as a trusted counselor or teacher to another person. A good mentor is a single person who is there for the new teacher to help them survive their first year in the field. The mentor should be available to help the new teacher overcome common obstacles such as lesson planning, disruptive students and teaching techniques. While mentoring is effective it does have its limitations; the mentor usually has their own responsibilities to take care of and time between the two teachers is often limited. Additionally, with only one source to turn to information may not always be accurate and feedback is not always provided. An induction program, on the other hand, is a process to help a new teacher not only survive in his or her environment but also to thrive in it. A good induction process can include a thorough orientation process, a highly qualified mentor, frequent reviews, and frequent meetings to discuss problems, a structured curriculum plan and time to observe senior teachers. Although this program may seem far superior it is also far more costly than a simple mentoring program. In order to determine which type of program is better we need to turn to the facts; mentoring focuses on survival while induction promotes professional development. Mentoring relies on a single person to...