The current educational system requires the recruitment of new teachers to meet the increasing student population. However, pre-service or beginning teachers face a variety of challenges associated with their new work environment and expectations. They lack knowledge about their expectations, having little knowledge of the policies of the school and lack of familiarity with their working colleagues. In addition, the new teachers often find themselves struggling with ensuring a balance between the classroom demands and their adjustment to their new working environment. As new professionals in the field, new teachers also face the challenge of curriculum freedom. The challenge is evidenced by the lack of proper guidance and resources required for facilitating effective learning in the school. A recent survey conducted in the school revealed that most of the new teachers in the school faced the challenges of unsupportive environment that failed to recognize their needs. For example, 65% of the teachers who took part in the survey reported difficulties in interacting with their work mates with the challenges ranging from being neglected by the administrators to hostility and lack of cooperation from the veteran teachers.
Since the new teachers are at a high risk of low self-esteem and lack of morale due to their experiences, it is imperative to promote the adoption of a pre-service mentorship program to foster the effective adaptation to the new school environment. As such, the school administration must consider giving the new teachers as pre-service mentorship program that will help them fit into the culture and the environment of the school.
I. Select the most appropriate qualified staff to become future mentors
II. Acquiring the necessary resources to facilitate the process
III. Providing training to the selected staff
IV. Providing training to the other staff members to equip them with the necessary skills
V. Implementing and evaluating the process
The program will reduce job dissatisfaction, low productivity, and self-esteem among the new teachers in the school.
The program will increase the likelihood of increased staff input to different activities required for the success of the school.
Limited time for facilitating the whole process
Extra costs incurred by the school in providing training to the mentors and the staff
Determining individuals to become mentors for the new teachers
Conflict of interest and resistance to change among the staff members
Teacher's professional life, learning, and development from their university or college ongoing throughout their life are a complex process. Provision of pre-service teacher education is an important aspect not only for providing the needs of the subject matter, but also pedagogical knowledge, skills, and competencies to the student teacher. The knowledge gained from the class otherwise known as the received knowledge proves inadequate in providing the teachers and students with the required competencies to execute their assigned duties in a new school effectively (Rousseau, 2008). Experiential knowledge, which refers to the knowledge gained from practicing, is effective in providing the teachers or beginners with the desired knowledge and competencies required for executing their newly assigned duties. Combining both results into a phrase linking theory with practice requires guidance from qualified individuals to provide the new teachers with the desired educational competencies. As such, the provision of pre-service, mentorship programs for the beginners (new teachers) in school proves as effective tools used in facilitating their development and competencies in executing the desired educational and professional objectives (Scherer, 1999).
Structure of the research paper
This research paper discusses the topic of the importance of the adoption of the mentorship programs for the pre-service teachers in the school to enhance their competencies and job satisfaction. In specific, the paper begins with the analysis of different definitions of the term mentorship and pre-service mentorship alongside providing the scope of the pre-service mentorship program. In addition, the research paper also analyzes a model (the mentorship team model) that is applicable in ensuring the success of the mentorship program alongside showing the relationship between the model and the proposed program. Apart from this, this research paper analyzes the benefits, challenges, and solutions of the problems that are likely to influence the effective adoption and realization of the goals of a pre-service program.
Thompson, Chuang, and Sahin (2007) refer a mentor as an individual that guides a less experienced individual by promoting the establishment of their trust and modeling the desired positive behaviors. A mentor promotes the development of the desired positive behaviors by engaging and reinforcing the desired behaviors of the mentee. On the other hand, mentorship as defined by Foster-Turner (2006) refers to a relationship that aims at promoting personal development of an individual. Loue (2011) defined mentorship as a positive relationship between the mentor and the mentee that aims at building the desired knowledge and skills in the mentee. The process is made possible by the establishment of a relationship between an experienced and inexperienced individual to boost the development of the desired behaviors that promote the realization of the planned objectives. As such, this shows that a symbiotic relationship exists between the mentor and the mentee. The mentee benefits from acquiring the desired skills and behaviors from the mentor, and the mentor benefits from strengthening his/her knowledge and skills base for effective provision of the desired knowledge and behavior to the mentee. Brockbank and McGill (2006) recognize that the success of a mentorship program relies on a variety of factors such as the establishment of trust, adoption of effective listening style, encouraging the mentee, ensuring reliability, and making the relationship a joyful process.
Scope of the pre-service mentorship program
It is often a difficult process to generalize about mentoring due to the presence of different forms of mentoring programs such as formal and the informal mentoring programs. For instance, the intensity of emotions between the mentor and the mentee forms a feature of the informal mentorship programs. It is not found in the formal mentorship programs. The variance in the scope of the formal mentorship programs such as the pre-service training is attributable to the difference in the context, orientation, and outcomes. The scope of the pre-service mentorship program us extensive, and unlimited to the other programs developed in the school for the novice teachers and the school administrators. Rousseau (2008) recognizes that an effective pre-service program focus in ensuring socialization, interaction and adoption of strategies that aim at building competencies in the new teachers in the school.
In fact, Scherer (1999) acknowledges that the pre-service mentorship proves relevant for all stakeholders in the school such as the novice teachers, the students, and the administrators of the school, making it relevant in enhancing the achievement of the objectives of the school. Cumulatively, the scope of the pre-service mentorship program shows its relevance in promoting active inclusion of the school members and the development of the desired skills that aim at improving the performance and socialization in the school environment (Gray, 2001).
The mentorship team model
The ability to realize the set goals depends on the adoption of the most effective model that will facilitate the overall process. Various mentorship models exist. These include the traditional one to one mentorship model, mentorship network, and mentorship team. The traditional model focuses on one mentee and one mentor pursuing the mentorship goal. Mentorship network often covers a range of topics for which more than one experienced mentor might be required to facilitate the realization of the set mentorship goals. However, this research paper focuses on the mentorship team model of providing pre-service mentorship programs for the new teachers in the school. The factors enhance the suitability of the traditional and mentorship network include the fact that a mentor can be assigned a number of mentees to lead rather than in the other types of mentorship models (Klein, 2006).
In most of the structural mentoring programs, the number of the mentees is usually higher than the number of the mentors available. Therefore, more than one mentee will be assigned to a mentor for guidance and provision of the necessary support. Similarly, mentorship team model uses this approach where a number of mentors are assigned to a single mentor who has the responsibility of guiding and providing the necessary support for them. Jonson (2008) recognizes that while guiding a large number of mentees can be a difficult process for the mentor, he/she can choose to group them into small groups to facilitate ease monitoring and improve the efficiency of the mentorship program. As such, it becomes evident that the number of the new teachers requiring pre-service mentorship programs is unpredictable hence, the applicability of the mentorship team model. In this case, the mentor plays an active role of leveraging resources within the developed teams and assigning the peer or the new teachers to work together and collaborate on different aspects associated with the mentorship curriculum (Allen and Eby, 2011).
Thompson, Chuang, and Sahin (2007) acknowledge that the collaborative activities largely rely on the interaction between the pre-service teachers/the mentees although…