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Mentoring Makes a Difference for First-Year Teachers

Merritt Island High School Physics teacher and mentor Diane Wallschlag (Left) with her mentee and high school science, biology and chemistry teacher and colleague, Andrea Williams. (Photo by Willie J. Allen Jr.)

Nationwide, the inability to retain teachers costs districts $7.3 billion a year, according to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. But the real penalty is paid by students, who often suffer academically from the loss of experienced teachers.

How can we support new teachers so they can stay in their chosen career and not burn out? One solution is mentors.

Mentors can make a huge difference: according to a 2015 federal study, 92 percent of first-year teachers assigned a mentor returned to their classroom.

Find out how NEA is supporting a teacher-led, union-run orientation program that has created meaningful mentorships between new and veteran teachers.


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