New-to-profession Elementary Teachers’ and Mentors’ Perceptions of the District-wide Mentoring Program: A Narrative Inquiry Qualitative Study

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Spring 2022


New-to-profession elementary teachers in a large school district may not have the support they need to help them feel proficient and successful in their role. This narrative inquiry qualitative study involved exploring the perceptions of new-to-profession elementary teachers and their mentors of the mentoring program in place in a large school district in Central Texas. Set within a transformational leadership framework, the study occurred in two phases. Phase I involved gathering survey feedback from 23 new-to-profession elementary teachers and 29 mentors regarding their perceptions of the mentor program. Data from the survey informed the selection of the five new-to-profession elementary teachers and five mentors who participated in Phase II, which involved one-on-one virtual interviews in which they answered open-ended questions. Findings from this research indicated elementary mentors perceived the district-wide new-to-profession mentoring program as represented based on four themes: (a) district structures, (b) goal setting, (c) reciprocal support, and (d) COVID impact. The findings indicated new-to-profession teachers perceived the district-wide mentoring program as represented based on three themes: (a) need for feedback, (b) need for connection, and (c) COVID impact. The researcher makes the following recommendations for further research: (a) explore how new-to-profession teachers who are singletons on campus (e.g., only one PE teacher, only one fourth-grade Spanish language arts teacher, a special education teacher in a very specialized program) may perceive the district-wide mentoring program differently than those who have a strong PLC built in as an additional layer of instructional support, (b) explore lead mentor perceptions about campus and district onboarding practices, and (c) conduct a qualitative research study using a case study method to understand the transcending implications from the COVID-19 pandemic on teachers who began teaching during the 2020–2021 school year. Keywords: mentor, novice, new-to-profession, elementary


Teresa Farler

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision