Louisiana Teachers' Perceptions of Mentoring Programs and Teacher Turnover: An Exploratory Case Study

Louisiana Teachers' Perceptions of Mentoring Programs and Teacher Turnover: An Exploratory Case Study

Author: 
Therese D. Ellender
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
A shortage of teachers exists within the United States and Louisiana. Specifically, Louisiana is experiencing a severe shortage. A qualitative exploratory case study design allowed for an in-depth analysis of the participant’s perspectives into the active role of mentoring programs in increasing retention in Louisiana. The motivational theory was the theoretical foundation guiding the study. Using purposive and snowball sampling, 11 participants were selected. Data were derived as participants responded to open-ended email interview questions designed to explore perceptions about the benefits of mentoring programs on teacher retention. A pilot study was conducted to validate the instrument with two of the 11 participants. Triangulation occurred through interviews, member checking, the use of multiple participants and sites, and a review of the literature. NVivo 11.0 was used to organize and assist with analysis of the data. Three themes emerged: relationships, support, and time. Relationships included emotional support and collaboration. Support included peripherals such as classroom management, routines, grading, and duty. Time included both program length and interaction with mentors. Three recommendations emerged for educational leaders to implement in mentoring programs: (a) foster relationships; (b) make a conscientious effort to provide support to beginning teachers; and (c) allow for more time in mentoring programs and with the interaction between mentors and mentees. The study concluded with five suggestions for future research regarding the perception of the effectiveness of mentoring programs.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation first to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Through Him I can do all things and without Him I can do nothing. Second, I dedicate this dissertation to Lee D. Ellender, M.D., my husband. He has been my support and my inspiration throughout this entire process. You inspired me and encouraged me to complete my childhood dream. Words cannot express the love and admiration I have for you Lee. I thank God for your encouragement, understanding, and motivation to me daily. You are everything I prayed for and dared to believe in God and I am so thankful that He brought us together. Third, to my former Sunday school teacher, Doylene Kuykendall, for listening to the Spirit that Sunday morning and always praying for me and believing in me. Last, I dedicate this to all the people who encouraged and prayed for me and in the words of Newton (1676), “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants” (Phrases.org, 2016).
Acknowledgements: 
First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in whom I live and breathe and have my being (Acts, KJV). I want to thank the Lord for all that He has done for me for I could not have completed this journey without His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding and His favor. I want to acknowledge my best-friend and husband, Lee D. Ellender, M.D. I want to thank him for believing, motivating, encouraging and loving me. I want to thank him for giving up many weekends so I could do homework! God sent you into my life and I am a truly blessed woman. I would like to acknowledge my family for their prayers and encouragement, especially my dad and mother, James and Deanna Turnage. I would like to thank my new family and Mother-In-Law, Theresa Ellender for their support, love and prayers. I would like to acknowledge the students and staff at North Central who encouraged me and inspired me to follow my dreams including the original “A-Team” members, Jerome Robinson and Travis Bush, for always checking on my status and believing in me to complete the journey. I want to thank the staff at the St. Landry Parish School Board who have supported and encouraged me. I would like to thank my pastors, the Manguns and Shocks, for your prayers and support. I want to thank several people who both started and completed the journey with me. Julie Kral, you were an answer to prayer; thank you for being my accountability buddy. I cannot wait for you to obtain your finish line, too. Dr. Lyn Haas and Dr. Sarah Brown, thank you both for encouraging me, supporting me, believing in me and being there for me. I want to thank Dr. George Kelley and Dr. Norma J. Turner for stepping in and helping me complete my journey; you were both an answer to my prayers. Last, but certainly not least my Chair, Dr. Patricia Callow. What can I say, but I am blessed beyond measure to have you on my team. Words such as thank you seem inadequate but they are all I have, so thank you. You made it through the entire journey with me and you took on a new role so that I could finish. I am truly blessed beyond measure and I am grateful to everyone who helped me complete the journey.