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Leadership Credential: What is Effective Mentoring? Michele Turner University of Wisconsin Milwaukee February 27, 2013

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I am intending to change the way that teachers in the early care and education field are mentored-if and when they are mentored. Mentoring has to done right in order for it to be effective. A good mentor is able to open doors and help teachers create opportunities for growth. They can help them to develop their abilities and strengths while setting the pace by being an example and helping teachers to stay motivated and more effective. An effective mentoring program or mentor will help teachers learn from their mistakes and improve as they strive for independence and become a leader themselves. (Stoik, 2010) CHALLENGES The major challenge is that at this time, the majority of the teachers that responded to my interview have not received any type of mentoring in the field and the directors or owners that I have spoken to are concerned about the time and the money that will have to be put in. HOW TO ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES The way to address this problem is to show the importance of mentoring for the teachers and that it can be beneficial to the teachers as well as the center. It also needs to be shown to the directors that it worth the time and money that it may cost when done effectively. According to the article, Implementing Change with Understanding and Respect, People resist change, even when its good change. We are all comfortable with the familiar.Caregivers may resist changing the way they have been doing things because they truly believe they have been doing the best for the children. Mentoring has to cover more than how we work in the classroom; it must also cover professional development. One way to address the challenge is to start with the centers and owners that I currently work with to show how we could implement a program cost effectively.

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PROBLEM STATEMENT Teachers in the early care and education field, at every level, whether they are starting out or have been in the field for a number of years can benefit from mentoring. Mentoring is more than just throwing new teachers into a classroom with another teacher or having them go through a lot of different trainings. It must be done with specific goals in mind that are matched up with the teachers needs. Mentoring is not a short term project; it is something that comes from a relationship. That is one of the problems. Teachers are not being mentored at any stage from the research that I have done and if they are if is not being done as effectively as it could be. A mentor is concerned about the mentees professional development as well as their personal development. In the case studies that were done for the previous class, we learned about Sunshine. Ms. Sunshine had been in childcare for over ten years. She had been hired or promoted to director at the last three childcare centers where she worked and was currently a supervisor at her present place of employment. Her registry certificate had expired and she was a level one on the registry system in 2010. When Youngstar was implemented, she was forced to go to college increase her registry level to keep her position. After enrolling in school and applying for the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship, she found out that the high school diploma that she had for years that had been accepted by the Registry would not be accepted by T.E.A.C.H. Because she had already completed the first course of the Administrators Credential and was currently enrolled in the second course because she had the expectation that T.E.A.C.H. would pay her tuition, she ended up owing the tuition for two courses when they rejected her diploma. Her employer ended up paying off her tuition and Sunshine worked for the next eighteen months to pay her employer back. During this time, she worked on getting a general education diploma that

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is approved by the department of public instruction and to complete her Administrators Credential. Even though her employee helped her, Sunshine felt, when interviewed, that if she had had a mentor at some time in her career, they would have been able to help her with her professional development. She would have never gotten to the point of having been in child care for so many years and still been at a level one with an expired registry certificate. Even though

her boss helped her to navigate the system, a caring mentor would have most likely never allowed her to get that far without at least addressing her lack of educational goals. Her employer, because of the implementation of Youngstar forced her to go to school, but a mentor would have guided her in a different manner. Mentoring is an effective method of helping inexperienced individuals develop and progress in their profession. (Byington) It is not just helping a teacher become better in a classroom, but to develop in their profession. Teachers of young children experience different stages of professional development. The beginning teacher is focused on day-to-day survival in the classroom, and often experiences anxiety about her ability to meet classroom challenges and realities. According to Lillian Katz, these teachers are in the survival stage which may last throughout the whole first year of teaching. This is a time that a mentor can be beneficial, in that the mentor can provide "support, understanding, encouragement, comfort, and guidance" (Katz, 1977). Teachers that have been in the field three or more years may have reached the Maturity Stage. As defined by Lillian Katz. This level of teacher is more confident of her abilities but may be tired of doing "the same old things" (Katz, 1977). This is a time that a mentor can help to revive the freshness that the experienced teacher once had. These are not the only stages that a mentor can be beneficial. A mentor can be beneficial at every stage of a teachers career. (Connecticut mentoring)

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As has been mentioned, mentoring is more than just placing a new teacher in a classroom or having teachers take a lot of trainings. The term mentor originated when the Greek mythological hero, Odysseus set out on a journey to Troy and left his son, Telemecus in the hands of his loyal friend Mentor. He instructed Mentor to tell Telemecus all that he knew. Modern usage defines mentoring as to coach, tutor, train, give hints, or prime with fact. (Scallan-Berl 2003) COMPONENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE MENTORING PROGRAM In the early care and education field mentoring would be an asset. In order to be effective the mentoring cannot be done haphazardly. We need to start with what qualities make a good mentor. The teachers that were interviewed indicated that a good mentor needs to be honest, motivational, patient and forthcoming. The mentor should be experienced, knowledgeable and a good listener. According to the literature a mentor needs to be a role model that walks the walk and demonstrates the behaviors necessary for success. The mentor needs to be able to provide a safe environment in which the mentee can make mistakes without losing credibility. Good mentors need to enjoy sharing their experiences with others and should have a wealth of knowledge and experience in their profession, and they should take a personal interest in helping others succeed. A good mentor should also know that mentoring is about developing people, not fixing them. (Chronus) Mentoring does not require special skills, but are simply people who have certain qualities. They need to be able to listen and give mentees their full attention. Mentors are there to help their mentees find life direction and not to push them. They are practical, they give insights about keeping on task and setting goals and priorities while sharing their own personal

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experiences to help their mentees avoid mistakes and make good decisions. Teacher mentors need to be available as a resource as well as a sounding board. Mentors need to be able to give constructive criticism when necessary. They need to be able to point out areas that need improvement, while focusing on the mentees behavior, never on their character. While doing this mentors need to be supportive no matter how painful the mentees experience, the mentor should be able to continue to encourage them to improve. Mentors give specific advice on what was done well or could be corrected, what was achieved and the benefits of various actions. Mentors need to encourage teachers to be reflective on their current practices. They should not only care about their current practices, but also in the mentees progress in school and professional and personal development. Mentors should be well respected in their organizations and able to foster success in others. (Connecticut mentoring) RESEARCH BACKGROUND There is a lot of information regarding mentoring. I chose to use references that told not just the benefits of mentoring, but that spoke about what effective mentoring is. As I mentioned before, mentoring is more than just telling someone what to do or how to do it. Some have concluded that mentoring is not enough for new teachers or that it is not the most effective way to help new teachers become acclimated or most effective in their positions. APPROACH TO QUESTION As I researched this question about how important it is for teachers to have the opportunity to have a mentor, I came across a lot of research that is for and against mentoring.

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Some people have said that mentoring alone will not help new teachers and that the claims about mentoring have not been subjected to rigorous empirical scrutiny. (Mentoring alone) The same article claims that the ideas of mentoring teachers have been misconstrued and that teachers need to be taught by other teachers how to teach and that a new teacher needs a teacher or a tutor and not a mentor or support person. They suggest that teachers need training, daily guidance, tutelage and supervision. They prefer induction as opposed to mentoring. Teacher induction involves those practices used to help new and beginning teachers become competent and effective professionals in the classroom. Induction programs also help develop an understanding of the local school, community and cultures. (Nwt Teacher induction) Of course all of these things are important, but I would have to maintain that a good mentoring program should be a part of the teacher induction if that is something that a center or school should choose to have. An ineffective mentoring program or mentor/mentee relationship will not be beneficial just as an induction program that is not administered properly will have detrimental effects. "Teacher turnover is one of the most serious and complicated issues in early-childhood education," says Jeffrey Capizzano, public-policy and research director for Teaching Strategies, Washington, D.C., a publishing and training concern. "Low pay, poor benefits and a stressful work environment combine to create a turnover rate far higher" than many other occupations. Average pay is $10 an hour, and only one-third of child-care staffers get health insurance through their jobs. (Shellenbarger, 2006) STRATEGY FOR CHANGE After doing the interviews and the research, I do see that the teachers that were interviewed believed that having a mentor would be beneficial to their personal and professional

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development. I dont think that this is something that can be ignored. I work as a consultant to several centers in the Milwaukee area. I have already spoken to the directors or owners about the importance of their teachers being mentored and have told them about the difference between the teachers being thrown into the classroom and being mentored over time in order to promote their classroom development and overall professional development. We have not as of yet sat down to start planning, but want to sit down this summer and map out a plan to develop mentors in their programs. Because of the recommendation that a mentor should not be someone that has the power to hire or fire, we will train experienced staff that already shows potential 1. First we will determine the goals of the mentoring program. What will be the nature of

the interaction between the mentors and the mentees? What will be the intensity and the frequency of the mentorship? 2. 3. We will figure out the monetary and participatory support from the centers. We will work to pair up mentors and mentees according to their profiles and career

interest and goals and the overall vision of the mentoring programs. 4. We will schedule meeting and activities for mentors and mentees at the beginning to help

build a relationship of trust and hopefully friendship. 5. As the program is put in place, we will have to monitor the progress of the participants.

We will have individual set goals and outcomes in order to make sure that something is being accomplished. (How to Mentor) EVALUATION OF YOUR PROCESS AND RESULTS

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This is a project that will have to start small. That is why I want to start with a few programs that already see the potential that a mentor program can have and also people that I already work with. After seeing the progress in the centers that I currently work with, I would like to use testimonials and word of mouth to help spread the word. I would also like to interview more people to show that others already think that they would benefit from having a mentor I think that it can be made cost effective by training people within the programs to be mentors. It will be a time consuming effort and perhaps everyone will not want to or be able to take the amount of time that it will take. The keys to establishing a successful mentoring relationship include creating a relationship of trust, clearly defining roles and responsibilities, establishing short- and long-term goals, using open and supportive communication, and collaboratively solving problems. (Byington) If we are able to get others to stay committed as they buy into

the fact that mentoring is important, I think it can be a success.

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Addendum Interview Questions 1. Have you ever had someone that you would consider a mentor? Yes No 2. Was it personal or professional? Personal Professional

3. If so what qualities would you say that they possessed that you admired?

4. What would you say is the most important quality a mentor should have? 5. Do you think that you could be further advanced whether personally or in the early care and education field if you had had a mentor?

6. Circle which qualities you think a mentor should have: Morally Upright Experienced Respectful Understanding Lead by example Positive Motivational 7. What level are you on the registry?

Patient Kind

8. How long have you been in the Early Care and Education Field? 9. Do you intend to make it a career? Yes No

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Addendum 2 Interview Responses

Question #1 Did you have a mentor? According to Registry Level

Level 12 & up

Level 7-11 Yes No Level 4-6

Level 1-3

Question #2 For the 23 teachers that did have mentors, 15 considered their mentor personal while only 8 considered their mentor to be a professional mentor. Of the 8 that had professional mentors only 3 were in the field of early care and education. Question #3 Listed below are the main qualities that teachers that had any type of mentor admired in their mentors: Honesty, Knowledge of the program, Personality, Motivational, Wisdom and Leadership, Listener, Patience, Forthcoming and Intellectual. Question #4 The qualities listed above are also the same as what they said they felt the most important qualities are that the mentor should have.

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Question #5 Everyone felt that they could be further advanced with the help or the continued help of a mentor. Question #6 All felt that mentors should have all of the qualities listed. Question #7 The majority of the teachers interviewed were at levels 7-11

Series 1
14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Level 1-3 Level 4-6 Level 7-11 Level 12-17 Series 1

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Question #8 The majority of the respondents had been in the field less than ten years.

Longevity in the Field

1-5 years 6-10 years 11-15 years 16 & up

Question #9 80% of the respondents planned to remain in the childcare field.

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References Byington, T. (2010). Keys to successful mentoring relationships. Journal of Extension, Retrieved from Carter, M. (1998, March). Principles and strategies for coaching and mentoring. Child Care Information Exchange, 82-86. Case Study-Based Learning (2011). Retrieved from G. Katz, L. (n.d.). The developmental stages of teachers. Retrieved from

How to mentor a new teacher. (n.d.). Retrieved from Moore, K. (2001, November). Polices & practices: mentoring and coaching teachers. Early Childhood Today, Retrieved from Nwt teacher induction: A program for beginning teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Scallan-Berl, P. (2003, Jan/Feb). Mentoring teachers..a partnership in learning. Child Care Information Exchange, 34-39.

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Shellenbarger, S. (2006, August 31). Notable absence: High teacher turnover can take emotional toll on preschoolers. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Stoik, S. (2010, October). The importance of finding a good mentor. Retrieved from Ryan, S. (2004). Mentoring for change: A time use study of teacher consultants in preschool reform. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 6(1), Retrieved from Courtesy: The Connecticut Mentoring Partnership and the Business and Legal Reports, Inc. Best Practices in Human Resources, Issue 653, September 30, 1999. Mentoring Alone Will Not Help New Teachers