Standard 5.3: Process to make necessary adjustments in beginning teacher/mentor matches
The mentor committee’s ability to make necessary adjustments in mentor-beginning teacher matches is an essential aspect of maintaining the health of the induction/mentoring program. When considering this program standard, it is imperative that the mentor committee has an established and communicated process to address the specific challenges which may be experienced between a mentor-beginning teacher match.
There may come a time when an issue, challenge, or problem arises between the mentor and the beginning teacher. The art of effectively matching a mentor with a beginning teacher is an imperfect science, even when great effort is put into creating a tight selection and matching process. It simply must be acknowledged that on occasion a mentor-beginning teacher relationship may be in need of conflict resolution.
It is recommended the induction/mentoring programs have a written appeal process and that this process is communicated to all program participants. If mentors or beginning teachers have concerns about their partner, program leaders should take these concerns seriously and engage in best-practice conflict resolution strategies. Often, situations can be made better, emotions soothed, and the match can continue smoothly. Other times, it may be necessary to discontinue the mentor-beginning teacher relationship and provide the beginning teacher with a different mentor who might be a better match. The appeal process should center on advocating for the needs and role of the beginning teacher. A well-crafted policy and process are essential for the health of a program and the peace of mind of all constituent members.