Teacher attrition rates, especially for teachers in their first 1-5 years of teaching, are abysmal (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011). As a result, teacher shortages have become a nation-wide crisis (Sutcher, et al., 2016). Mentorship programs have been proven to help yet have not been enough to stymie teacher shortage and retention issues. Research demonstrates that the key to retaining teachers may be in mentorship teams or communities, cultures of mentorship, in which novice teachers are surrounded by not just formally assigned mentors, but a community of peers who support the integration of a novice teacher into the teaching force long term (Smith & Evans, 2008). By exploring where these relationships are being formed and what is valued in these relationships, we may be able to learn how to replicate these processes and provide better for newer teachers in the profession. This dissertation study used a mixed-methods approach to understand the perspectives of teachers in an urban charter school network with regard what aspects of peer relationships they valued and how those peer relationships have influenced their desire to remain in the field of education. The findings discuss how time, resources, and emotional support were cited as most valuable. The study draws some conclusions regarding the ways in which these traits are helpful to keeping teachers in the field, namely by addressing the struggle teachers experience, the isolation they feel, as well as by providing a supportive community in which they feel compelled to further the success of the community wherein they are in turn supporting newer teachers in the field. Leadership implications include discussion of school climate indicators as well as those for professional development and teacher retention.
|Advisor:||Nakkula, Michael J.|
|Commitee:||Jacobs, Charlotte E., Desimone, Laura M.|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Educational and Organizational Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Teacher education, Educational leadership|
|Keywords:||Peer relationships, Teacher professional identity, Teacher relationships, Teacher retention|
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