WHAT CAMPUS PRINCIPALS NEED TO KNOW: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ON-LINE MENTORING ON ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATION INTERNS IN TEXAS
Kalie, Zenaida 1974-
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All new Texas first year teachers enter the classroom with the hope of receiving an attentive campus mentor. However, there is no guarantee that these new teachers may have such a mentor assigned to them. A variety of obstacles can prevent an effective mentoring relationship. In an effort to fill in these gaps and provide new teachers the opportunity to interact with a dedicated mentor and to communicate with other Texas new teachers in the same alternative teacher certification program, an on-line mentoring program was created. The on-line mentoring program provides study modules on the topics of the lesson cycle, lesson planning, and classroom management in addition to the opportunity for mentors and interns to communicate on-line. This study is designed to examine the impact that the on-line mentoring program may have on new teacher perception of support in three domains of the EC-12 PPR TExES exam, the significant difference that the on-line mentoring program may have on the test scores of the new teachers, and to examine what themes are involved in the questions and topics of discussion that first year teachers have with their mentor and/or fellow first year teachers on-line. A mixed methods approach was used to analyze EC-12 PPR TExES scores on domains 1-3 from interns (N=62) who participated in on-line mentoring and from interns who did not participate in on-line mentoring, survey responses from interns who participated in on-line mentoring, and text analysis for themes in postings made by interns in the on-line mentoring course. The findings of this study have implications for campus principals, mentors, and administrators of teacher preparation programs. Challenges expressed by interns and the methods interns found successful and took it upon themselves to share with others are discussed. Survey data shows in what areas and which type of mentor interns felt impacted their teaching effectiveness. Although overall mean scores on the EC-12 PPR TExES in domains 1-3 of those that participated in on-line mentoring were greater than those who did not participate in on-line mentoring, t-tests showed that there was no significant difference between these test scores.
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