The importance of working with beginning teachers
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Eady, S. (2020) The importance of working with beginning teachers. In: Howells, K., Lawrence, J. & Roden, J. (eds.) Mentoring Teachers in the Primary School: A Practical Guide. London: Routledge, pp. 53-64.
This chapter identifies the importance of working with beginning teachers and builds on the ‘mentor as relationship builder’. Before considering how to work with beginning teachers, it is worth taking a step back to briefly reflect on why mentors should work with beginning teachers. There is much evidence to suggest that beginning teachers often find the transition into teaching, be it during their early development or from initial teacher education into a full time job, challenging. Consequently, many experience ‘burnout’ and leave after three to five years of teaching. A survey published in October 2015 by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and YouGov found that over half of teachers were thinking of leaving teaching in the next two years, citing ‘volume of workload’ and ‘seeking better work-life balance’ as the two top issues. Daloz’s original model of mentoring relationships suggests that for optimal learning to take place, a mentor should provide both challenge and support.