Continuous mentorship creates a community for teachers centered on their development. Mentorship programs offer new and continuing teachers guidance in their lesson plans, classroom management, and bigger picture career development. However, more than 40% of districts do not offer teachers opportunities for collaborative learning and knowledge sharing (Prenger et al., 2017).
Schools that take advantage of the benefits of mentorship (which include reduced turnover) are more likely to have teachers that are satisfied with their work life (83% of employees with mentors have high workplace satisfaction). But what structures are schools using to structure their onboarding and teacher mentor programs?
Implementing a tiered mentorship program ensures that educators receive comprehensive support across various areas of their professional development. The tiered system of big-picture mentors, instructional coaches, and day-to-day mentors caters to different aspects of teacher development.
By offering mentorship at different levels, schools not only assist new teachers in navigating their roles but also contribute to a continuous cycle of improvement, where experienced educators actively engage in the growth and development of their colleagues. Ultimately, a tiered mentorship program enhances teacher effectiveness, job satisfaction, and overall educational outcomes. Here’s what a tiered mentorship program could look like at your school:
One of the primary advantages of a mentorship program is that it fosters a supportive community within the school environment. Teachers working in schools with mentoring programs have a space for open dialogue, collaboration, and sharing of instructional strategies. Moreover, mentors offer valuable guidance in navigating challenges unique to the teaching profession, promoting resilience and job satisfaction among mentees.
Another advantage of a mentorship program is the transfer of knowledge and practical insights from seasoned mentors to less experienced educators. This exchange not only enhances teaching skills but also contributes to professional growth and confidence. Ultimately, making sure that the students at your school are served by the best educators.
A structured onboarding process goes hand in hand with a mentorship program and is another key asset of an effective teacher retention program. Structured onboarding can involve digital onboarding tools to make your process simpler and avoid missing paperwork submissions or deadlines. Another important element in structured onboarding (and mentorship) involves asking for feedback from your new hires after 30, 60, and 90 days.
Having a structured onboarding process can reduce teacher turnover. Employees working at an organization with a structured onboarding process are 69% more likely to stay there for 3+ years. Structured onboarding programs paired with mentorship programs address prevalent onboarding challenges, including:
Hiring and onboarding technology can help you create a structured onboarding experience for new teachers. We at interviewstream would be happy to share the knowledge of districts and school boards that work with us to guide you in your mentorship program implementation.
Here is an article on two school districts working with interviewstream and how they approach onboarding. If you’d like to create a great onboarding program that will help you retain teachers for years to come, get in contact with us.
Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.