Investigating the servant leader mentor: an examination of mentoring through the experiences of K-12 educators to promote selection strategies for beginning teacher induction programs
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This qualitative narrative study was designed to investigate the mentoring experiences of quality teachers in order to provide knowledge for school district administration selecting mentor teachers for beginning staff. Data were gathered by examining the personal narratives of quality K-12 teachers, identified by having won the Missouri Teacher of the Year award, regarding their descriptions and experiences of mentoring as mentees. The conceptual framework of servant leadership was applied to provide a lens through which to study the phenomenon due to the deep insights it provided into the mentoring relationship. The study consisted of four educators who participated in multiple individual interviews sharing their personal stories of their mentors and the mentee process. Data were collected and triangulated from interviews and field texts revealing themes related to the characteristics of servant leaders. The findings of this study implicated that the mentors of quality public K-12 teachers utilize the ten characteristics of servant leadership (Spears, 1998) in their guiding of these teachers to reach their full potential. Therefore, the traits of servant leaders provide knowledge for an administrator trying to connect new staff with individuals who will positively affect their career. Results provided by this study add to the existing body of knowledge of servant leadership and mentoring.