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TNLI: Action Research: Professional Development: Mentoring to Save a Teacher

How does the Pathwise Induction Program lower the turnover rate among new teachers?

Research Summary

In order to be successful, teachers must have support throughout their beginning years of teaching. Some beginning teachers believe that once they receive a teaching degree, they automatically know how to enter into a classroom and deal with the daily problems that occur. Many beginning teachers enter into the classroom and encounter stress and problems ranging from classroom management to dealing with students with diverse socioeconomic and intellectual backgrounds. They begin the day with a well-planned lesson, super creative projects, and positive thoughts; however, they still encounter critical times in the classroom. What can educators do to save the beginning teacher?

In my research, mentors observed a group of new teachers from the beginning of the school year until the end. This study examines ways and means for beginning teachers to gain a more collaborative relationship with a mentor throughout their first year of teaching. These teachers reflect on their success and the instructional experiences used for students on a daily basis.

The Pathwise Induction Program was designed to meet the needs of a beginning teacher in the areas of instruction and student learning. It is an evolving program in which mentors give input, reflect, and give immediate feedback to beginning teachers in an encouraging and nurturing way, a service that plays a key role throughout the first year of teaching.

In the induction program I examined three domains that became vital components of the professional practice: Planning and Preparation, The Classroom Environment, and Instruction. The induction process is based on a cycle of Plan, Teach, Reflect, and Apply. In this program, I made an informal observation of the beginning teacher’s classroom, followed by reflective conversations to discuss problems observed in the classroom. Next, I gathered information from readings and colleagues. Finally, mentors developed a plan of focus for the beginning teacher. Together they identified resources that helped develop skills to improve teaching. Both the mentor and the beginning teacher discussed teaching activities over a period of four to six weeks.

I have discovered that the most effective beginning teacher will need daily support from the faculty. I believe mentors’ ultimate goal is to improve their effectiveness and help beginning teachers accomplish their goals, move toward excellence in teaching, and continue to become an accomplished professional in the future.


  • Beginning teachers can and will succeed if they use proven research-based practices.
  • We as educators must offer help during the new teachers’ crucial beginning year.
  • Through the induction program, instructional practices can achieve desired results within the classroom ….

Full Study
Coming Soon!

Esther Roberts

8th Grade
U.S. History

Phyllis Wheatley Elementary, Bridgeville

TNLI Affiliate:

If you would like to learn more about Teachers Network Leadership Institute--Delaware, please e-mail Michael Rasmussen.



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