Mentoring as Professional Development for Mentors


The present paper concerns the topic of mentoring in the context of pre-service teacher education. Mentoring refers here to assistance or guidance provided by a school-based teacher who agrees to mentor a student teacher during her or his practicum. More specifically, the paper examines if mentoring can be recognized as a form of professional development for mentor teachers. While a great deal of literature has looked at the benefits student teachers gain from mentoring, an ongoing line of research has acknowledged that teachers
in their roles as mentors also can benefit professionally from the experience of mentoring. However, the bulk of this research comes from the Anglo-Saxon context and it cannot be assumed that the experiences of British, American or Australian teachers are shared by teachers in Poland. The aim of the present study then was to identify the ways in which Polish teachers of English who have undertaken the role of a mentor develop professionally through mentoring. The instrument used was a web-based questionnaire. The main findings show that mentor teachers gain professionally primarily through the process of mentoring—being
a mentor enhances their capacity for self-reflection and positively impacts their leadership skills, confidence as a teacher, willingness to self-develop, as well as their enthusiasm and commitment to teaching. On the other hand, mentors do not feel they learn directly from student teachers, although, in general, they recognize cooperation with student teachers as an inspirational and positive experience.


teachers of English; mentoring; professional development for mentor teachers; student teaching

Ambrosetti, A. (2014). Are you ready to be a mentor? Preparing teachers for mentoring preservice teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(6), 30–42.

Beutel, D., & Spooner-Lane, R. (2009). Building mentoring capabilities in experienced teachers. The International Journal of Learning, 16(4), 351–360.

Carruthers, J. (1993). The return of the mentor: Strategies for workplace learning. Falmer Press.

Evertson, C. M., & Smithey, M. W. (2000). Mentoring effects on protégés’ classroom practice:

An experimental field study. Journal of Educational Research, 93(5), 294–304.

Gilles, C., & Wilson, J. (2004). Receiving as well as giving: Mentors’ perceptions of their professional development in one teacher induction program. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 12(1), 87–106.

Grabowska, M. (2019). Ocenianie kompetencji studentów – przyszłych nauczycieli języka obcego przez nauczycieli-opiekunów praktyk, na przykładzie języka francuskiego. Neofilolog, 53(2), 51–67.

Hobson, A. J., Ashby, P., Malderez, A., & Tomlinson, P. D. (2009). Mentoring beginning teachers: What we know and what we don’t. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(1), 207–216.

Hudson, P. (2013a). Developing and sustaining successful mentoring relationships. Journal of Relationships Research, 4, 1–21.

Hudson, P. (2013b). Mentoring as professional development: ‘Growth for both’ mentor and mentee. Professional Development in Education, 39(5), 771–783.

Jaspers, W. M., Meijer, P. C., Prins, F., & Wubbels, T. (2014). Mentor teachers: Their perceived possibilities and challenges as mentor and teacher. Teaching and Teacher Education, 44, 106–116.

Karolczuk, M. (2013). Student teaching internships in Russian language classes in an elementary school. Research conclusions. Acta Neophilologica, XV(1), 49–60.

Le Cornu, R. (2015). Key components of effective professional experience in initial teacher education in Australia: A paper prepared for the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

Lindgren, U. (2006). Professional support to novice teachers by mentoring. In M. Brejc (Ed.), Proceedings from the 31st Annual ATEE Conference October 2006, Portorož, Slovenia. Ljubljana: National School for Leadership in Education.

Lopez-Real, F., & Kwan, T. (2005). Mentors’ perceptions of their own professional development during mentoring. Journal of Education for Teaching, 31(1), 15–24.

Marable, M., & Raimondi, S. (2007). Teachers’ perceptions of what was most (and least) supportive during their first year of teaching. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 15(1), 25–37.

McDonough, S. (2018). Inside the mentors’ experience: Using poetic representation to examine the tensions of mentoring pre-service teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(10), 98–115.

Mihułka, K. (2016). O wartości praktyk pedagogiczno-dydaktycznych w kształceniu językowym. Języki Obce w Szkole, 4, 53–63.

Pitton, D. E. (2006). Mentoring novice teachers: Fostering a dialogue process. Corwin Press.

Rajuan, M., Beijaard, D., & Verloop, N. (2007). The role of the cooperating teacher: Bridging the gap between the expectations of cooperating teachers and student teachers. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 15(3), 223–242.

Siek-Piskozub, T., & Jankowska, A. (2015). Znaczenie praktyk w rozwijaniu kompetencji nauczycielskiej – perspektywa praktykanta i mentora. Neofilolog, 44(2), 209–220.

Smith, J., & Nadelson, L. (2016). Learning for you and learning for me: Mentoring as professional development for mentor teachers. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 24(1), 59–72.

Ulvik, M., & Langørgen, K. (2012). What can experienced teachers learn from newcomers? Newly qualified teachers as a resource in schools. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 18(1), 43–57.

Walkington, J. (2005). Becoming a teacher: Encouraging development of teacher identity through reflective practice. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 33(1), 53–64.

Werbińska, D. (2005). Czy anglistom grozi wypalenie zawodowe. The Teacher, 4(28), 37–43.

Yuan, E. R. (2016). The dark side of mentoring on pre-service language teachers’ identity formation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 55, 188–197.


Published : 2022-07-29

Szymańska-TworekA. (2022). Mentoring as Professional Development for Mentors. Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition, 8(2), 1-22.

Aleksandra Szymańska-Tworek
University of Silesia in Katowice  Poland

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The Copyright Holders of the submitted texts are the Authors. The Reader is granted the rights to use the material available in the TAPSLA websites and pdf documents under the provisions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International License: Attribution - Share Alike  (CC BY-SA 4.0). The user is free to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

1. License

The University of Silesia Press provides immediate open access to journal’s content under the Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license ( Authors who publish with this journal retain all copyrights and agree to the terms of the above-mentioned CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

2. Author’s Warranties

The author warrants that the article is original, written by stated author/s, has not been published before, contains no unlawful statements, does not infringe the rights of others, is subject to copyright that is vested exclusively in the author and free of any third party rights, and that any necessary written permissions to quote from other sources have been obtained by the author/s.

If the article contains illustrative material (drawings, photos, graphs, maps), the author declares that the said works are of his authorship, they do not infringe the rights of the third party (including personal rights, i.a. the authorization to reproduce physical likeness) and the author holds exclusive proprietary copyrights. The author publishes the above works as part of the article under the licence "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International".

ATTENTION! When the legal situation of the illustrative material has not been determined and the necessary consent has not been granted by the proprietary copyrights holders, the submitted material will not be accepted for editorial process. At the same time the author takes full responsibility for providing false data (this also regards covering the costs incurred by the University of Silesia Press and financial claims of the third party).

3. User Rights

Under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license, the users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit the contribution) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material) the article for any purpose, provided they attribute the contribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

4. Co-Authorship

If the article was prepared jointly with other authors, the signatory of this form warrants that he/she has been authorized by all co-authors to sign this agreement on their behalf, and agrees to inform his/her co-authors of the terms of this agreement.

I hereby declare that in the event of withdrawal of the text from the publishing process or submitting it to another publisher without agreement from the editorial office, I agree to cover all costs incurred by the University of Silesia in connection with my application.