Mentoring retrained teachers: Extending the web

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Journal Article
Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 2004, 12 (3), pp. 335 - 351
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Novice teachers need support if they are to survive the reality of school. A web of relationships involving members of the school community, mentors outside the school community and a university tutor has been shown to be an effective way of providing this assistance. This article describes an extended web of assistance offered to a group of 11 teachers retrained to teach science. As they made the transition to science teaching these teachers identified a need for guidance and support in learning about a new subject and a new school environment. In some cases the school community was able to provide this guidance and support but in other cases the retrained teachers were met with scepticism by their fellow teachers and needed assistance from other sources. The extended web of relationships they accessed included district consultants provided by the employer, mentors located outside of the school, fellow graduates and a university tutor. All retrained teachers were also assisted in their development as reflective teachers by the production of a portfolio. The addition of an online component to the portfolio, allowing the sharing of ideas between the retrained teacher and the university tutor coordinating the program is proposed as a valuable component of the mentoring network. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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