“It was the only place where I could say everything”…

Shosh Millet

Dr. Shosh Millet

"It was the only place where I could say everything"... Pedagogical Mentoring for Novice Teachers

Descriptors: novice teacher, induction, pedagogical mentoring, mapping (descriptive) sentence, pedagogical mentor, empowerment


The article presents a follow-up case study of pedagogical mentoring for novice teachers as part of an induction project. The theoretical framework included a survey of the professional literature on the difficulties beginning teachers encounter and induction programs and pedagogical supervision designed to assist them. The research was qualitative - content analysis and mapping facets of 35 observations, interviews and questionnaires. The research population was comprised of three pedagogical mentors, one from a university and two from a college, who mentored three groups of novice teachers - 49 teachers in all. Findings were in two areas: Mentoring style. Three patterns of mentoring emerged from a study of the metoring relationship and content of the subjects: a group pattern for university graduates; an individual pattern for college graduates in the elementary school track; and a combined group/individual pattern for college graduates in the pre-school track. The primary areas where mentors provided assistance were discipline, personal counseling and improving the class atmosphere. According to feedback from mentees, the ideal mentor is a person who possesses knowledge and experience, gives direct, helpful suggestions, listens, supports and is empathetic and encouraging. The participants expressed much satisfaction with the group discussions and the specific support. Communication between mentor and mentees involved mutual trust, and the mentoring style employed by all three mentors was indirect - leading participants to engage in "joint thinking" and a process of personal reflection and coping. * This article is based on the author's doctoral thesis, written under the supervision of Professor N. Zabar and Professor P. Tamir.   Mentoring content. All three mentoring patterns exhibited a common body of "authentic knowledge". Moreover, in all three settings, the degree of devotion or focus on each mentoring components was similar: teaching techniques (45%), training activities (40%), empowerment processes (15%). Perception of the pedagogical mentor's role and the perception of teaching was also found to be similar - encompassing emphasis on knowledge, the personal development of the mentee, and professional aspects. The article discusses the importance of the study and its contribution to the training system (university, college), the hiring system (schools) and the induction system (internship).