Impact of a mentoring program on beginning Hispanic teachers
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This study examined the impact of a mentoring program on beginning Hispanic teachers in a low socioeconomic, predominately limited-English-proficient (LEP) district in South Texas. The purpose of the study was to determine what components of a mentoring program, if any, impacted first or second year teachers during the first year with the district, and how the mentoring experience impacted the beginning Hispanic teachers decision to return for a second year to the profession and/or the district. The framework of the study was established through a literature review that included an investigation of several statewide programs in the nation and Texas Beginning Educator Support System, known as TxBESS in Texas. The study used a survey to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. The survey was sent to identified participants in one school district in South Texas. The school district distributed and collected survey forms for the researcher. The survey asked respondents to prioritize components of the mentoring program as to relevance to their first-year teaching experience. There were also questions concerning their decision to return or not to return for the second year in the profession. Demographic information was collected from the respondents to create two groups from the respondents. One group was made up of beginning Hispanic teachers with TxBESStrained mentors and the other group was made up of beginning Hispanic teachers who were assigned mentors without TxBESS training. The researcher used a Likert Scale instrumentation to determine rating scores, and also included open ended questions at the close of each section of the survey. This information was analyzed and summarized. Then, generalizations and recommendations were made to the district about the mentoring program in place, as well as, adding to the body of work in the field of mentoring. Four major components of an effective program emerged from the data analysis. These components included (1) sharing of information support and assistance between mentors and beginning Hispanic teachers, (2) importance of time in a mentoring program, (3) the need for frequent contact between mentors and beginning Hispanic teachers, and (4) the emotional support and assistance received by the beginning Hispanic teacher by the mentor. These components were matched to findings from other studies and the research available on mentoring programs. Information from this study should provide the reader with an opportunity to investigate mentoring program components and the feasibility of implementation of a mentoring program at the district level.