Mentoring and induction programmes are essential to support teachers at different stages of their careers, ensuring their well-being, motivation, and retention, according to a European report.
The report, published by the LOOP project, supported by the European Commission, reveals that induction programmes for teachers supported by mentoring offer opportunities for personalized training, professional development, and career progression, as well as preparing teachers to face the challenges they encounter, supporting them in five dimensions of their action – didactic-pedagogical, disciplinary, bureaucratic and administrative, emotional, social, and cultural.
The successful experience of programmes in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Croatia suggests that they should be politically legitimized and incorporated into teacher training, so the experimental implementation involving 888 teachers currently underway will prove the need for their effective implementation in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, and Greece.
The Induction and Career Progression Model of the LOOP programme is a reference in the introduction and renewal of sustained mentoring programmes in the seven countries of the LOOP Project consortium.
Mentors are selected based on practical criteria, such as personal motivation to support, participation in innovative projects, and years of experience, which translates into accumulated knowledge, allowing these teachers to embrace a new and noble professional challenge of supporting and training other professionals.
The creation of mentor training schools and a committee to monitor programme implementation is also considered relevant in this report. The LOOP induction programme is organized into three blocks, containing 14 modules and more than 50 activities that invite exploration, allowing adaptation to the needs of teachers in induction, as well as enough flexibility to adapt to different contexts and realities.
The implementation of LOOP requires a partnership between the authorities, school principals, and intermediate leadership, ensuring that the right conditions are provided and the programme is successful.