Title

The Relationship of Mentoring To Teacher Retention As Perceived By Current Practitioners In South Mississippi Public Schools

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Michael Ward

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

Teacher retention to the profession continues to be a challenge for school administrators as efforts are made to identify the factors that contribute to teachers leaving or remaining in the teaching profession. One factor that appears to have a positive effect on keeping teachers in the profession is mentoring. The activities that provide the support new teachers need to keep them in education include mentoring behaviors. The purpose of this study was to gather data to determine whether current teacher practitioners perceive peer mentoring as a factor in retaining teachers in the profession in south Mississippi public schools and whether the gender of the mentor has an effect. A questionnaire, developed by this researcher, posed questions that revealed demographic data, perceptions of the mentoring experience, perceptions of how mentoring aided the respondent, and responses regarding the mentor/protégé relationship. Data were collected from seven hundred fifty-one teachers who responded to the questionnaire. These teachers were current practitioners in south Mississippi schools who elected to participate after superintendent and principal approval. The researcher-created Teacher Mentoring and Retention Questionnaire included demographic questions for all respondents and sections for those who were formally mentored and those who were informally mentored. Teachers who had not been mentored during their teaching career responded only to the first eleven demographic questions. Statistical significance was found between the mentoring perceptions of those who were formally mentored and those who were informally mentored. One finding that implies a need for additional research is those who were informally mentored rated the perceptions of the mentoring experience higher than those who were formally mentored indicating that the success of mentoring, in the eyes of the protégé, may be more due to relationship than the program itself. Additionally, statistical significance was found in the mentoring perceptions of those who had same gender mentors and those who had opposite gender mentors. The relationship between the mentor and the protégé and the factors that aid in the success of the protégé should continue to be examined in order to identify the importance of the relationship over a specific program.