Support and assist: approaches to mentoring in a yearlong teacher residency

Rachel Roegman, Emilie Mitescu Reagan, A. Lin Goodwin, Julia Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine mentor teachers’ approaches to mentoring preservice teachers in a yearlong teacher residency program (TRP). Design/methodology/approach – This multiple-methods study examined 15 mentor teachers’ approaches over the course of a year in an urban TRP through the lens of Wang and Odell’s (2002) framework for mentoring. Data sources included mentors’ self-assessments over three points in time across one academic year. These self-assessments included numerical ratings of practice (quantitative) as well as open-ended rationales and goal setting (qualitative). Findings – Mentors predominately provided support and technical assistance to the residents learning to teach, drawing on humanistic, and situated apprentice perspectives on mentoring. They worked to develop residents’ self-confidence and exposed residents to a range of practices and school contexts. Glimmers of a more critical constructive approach were apparent in some mentors’ discussions of reflection and collaboration. Research limitations/implications – This study informs the work of teacher education programs as they develop mentoring structures that align with program visions, expand notions of mentoring, and consider the many roles of a mentor teacher. Originality/value – Increased emphasis on clinical experiences for preservice teachers highlights the need to attend to the practices of the mentor teachers with whom they work. These mentors, as field-based teacher educators, play a critical role in teacher education, and teacher education programs need to support their professional development as mentors. Understanding mentors’ approaches to mentoring is necessary in order to provide this support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-53
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 7 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cooperating teachers
  • Mentoring
  • Preservice teaching
  • Teacher education
  • Teaching residency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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