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Abstract

This study is concerned with the experiences of beginning teachers working with a district-employed mentor. Based on Illeris’s (2002) Three Dimensions of Learning, the study sought to understand the cognitive, emotional, and social processes involved in working with a mentor through the use of one-on one, in-depth interviews.

Nine beginning teachers participated in the study. Their assignments included elementary (n=4), middle grades (n=2), and high school (n=3). Data collection took place at the end of the school year and included Year 1 and Year 2 teachers. The study uncovered four findings related to these beginning teachers: mentors were helpful; mentor scheduling needed improvement; mentor support varied based on each participant’s individual school and mentor; and mentors positively impacted teacher self-efficacy through validation.

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