Perspectives of Mentors and Mentees on the Teacher Mentor Program and Teacher Retention in a Small Urban School Division in Virginia


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Virginia Tech


Many school divisions throughout the U.S. are having a difficult time retaining teachers (Darling-Hammond, 2010; Ingersoll, R. M., 2004). 'High levels of attrition, estimated to be nearly 8% of the workforce annually, are responsible for the largest share of teacher demand' (Sutcher, Darling-Hammond, and Carver-Thomas, 2016, p. 2). According to Ingersoll and Strong (2011), Ingersoll and Perda (2011), and Skaalvik and Skaalvik (2016), reasons as to why teachers decide to leave the profession or change teaching locations include: job satisfaction, school demographics, student discipline, lack of administrative support, lack of teacher autonomy, and new teacher mentor programs. The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify mentor and mentee teachers' perceptions about the current mentoring program and their recommendations for future revisions that will increase teacher retention. An urban, central Virginia school division was selected for this study. Participants selected for this study have served as a mentor teacher for new teachers hired into the selected division or have recently been hired into the division. The division has approximately 260 full-time teaching professionals. From the beginning of the 2013-14 school year to the conclusion of the 2015-16 school year, 125 teachers were replaced. The attrition rate of the selected division is approximately double the attrition rate in the Commonwealth of Virginia (Pitts, 2017). Mentoring programs appear to be among the prominent approaches to teacher retention (McCann and Johannessen, 2010). The researcher sought to determine perceptions of mentor teachers regarding their suggestions for improvement in the current mentor program as a determining factor in whether teachers decide to remain in their current positions. This study yielded eight findings and six implications.



Teacher Retention, Teacher Attrition, Teacher Mentor Programs