First-year teachers' perceptions of the helpfulness of their teacher mentoring experiences during their induction into the profession were investigated in this study. It was found that most novice teachers perceived their mentoring experiences to be helpful; however, they rated other professionals in their school districts as being more helpful in aiding their transition into teaching than their formally assigned mentor teachers. The novice elementary teachers rated their building principals as being more helpful, and the novice secondary teachers rated other teacher colleagues as being more helpful than the mentor teachers. The areas of mentoring assistance found to be most valued by the neophyte teachers were in meeting school requirements and procedures, handling pupil discipline, and dealing with other professionals. Most of the first-year teachers reported spending considerable amounts of time with their teacher mentors (15 or more hours). The less well-prepared novice teachers spent less time with their mentor teachers and rated their principals as being more helpful in facilitating their transition into the profession than did the better prepared first-year teachers. (Author)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators (Las Vegas, NV, February 5-8, 1990).