Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Daniel Gutmore

Committee Member

Elaine Walker

Committee Member

Valerie Goger

Committee Member

Kathleen Pecoraro

Keywords

Education, Mentorship, Teachers

Abstract

A STUDY OF THE QUALITIES OF EFFECTIVE MENTOR TEACHERS The purpose of this study is to identify the attributes of teachers who are master teachers and exemplary mentors. This qualitative inquiry was designed to shed light on the values, attributes, beliefs and practices of these individuals as they relate to the art of teaching and mentoring novice teachers. A stable faculty provides schools with a strong support structure that enables students to achieve high levels of instruction and new teachers the high quality of mentoring needed during the first phase of their careers. Recruiting new teachers to fill the void of teachers who have left exacts a financial burden and an educational one. Teachers who leave take with them the rich experiences that students need from an educator; the knowledge of the curriculum, the skills to impart knowledge to young people and the establishment of those positive, sometimes lasting relationships that occur between teachers and students, teachers and parents, and within the teaching community. Principals and supervisors in one suburban public school district in New Jersey were asked to nominate exemplary veteran teachers, those dedicated professionals who are beyond good. To aid the administrators in their selection of the teachers, a letter of solicitation illustrated research-based attributes of exemplary mentor teachers. All subjects were veteran teachers with a minimum of ten years teaching experience. The teachers' experience ranged from 10 to 33 years. The ten subjects were interviewed by the researcher and each were asked a series of questions related to five research questions regarding the qualities that they perceive themselves as having as teachers and the strategies that they use to mentor novice teachers. Findings were congruent with the literature. The exemplary mentor teachers in this study were found to be positive, happy people who consider teaching a vocation. They love their students and the act of teaching. They are life-long learners and reflective practitioners. They recognize the importance of caring, trust, listening and patience when mentoring novice teachers. Future studies should include data from novice teachers, administrators and urban school educators.

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.