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                            New Beginnings: A Phenomenology of the Lived Experiences of Novice Secondary Teachers Who Have Completed the Induction and Mentorship Requirements of Utah's Early Years Enhancement (Eye) Program
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Utah State University Utah State University

[email protected] [email protected]

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations Graduate Studies


New Beginnings: A Phenomenology of the Lived Experiences of New Beginnings: A Phenomenology of the Lived Experiences of

Novice Secondary Teachers Who Have Completed the Induction Novice Secondary Teachers Who Have Completed the Induction

and Mentorship Requirements of Utah's Early Years Enhancement and Mentorship Requirements of Utah's Early Years Enhancement

(Eye) Program (Eye) Program

Philip D. Armstrong
Utah State University

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Part of the Secondary Education and Teaching Commons

Recommended Citation Recommended Citation
Armstrong, Philip D., "New Beginnings: A Phenomenology of the Lived Experiences of Novice Secondary
Teachers Who Have Completed the Induction and Mentorship Requirements of Utah's Early Years
Enhancement (Eye) Program" (2009). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 290.

This Dissertation is brought to you for free and open
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Philip D. Armstrong

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment

of the requirements for the degree




(Curriculum and Instruction)


____________________________ ____________________________
Dr. Gary Carlston Dr. Martha Dever
Major Professor Committee Member

____________________________ ____________________________
Dr. J. Nicholls Eastmond Dr. Michael Freeman
Committee Member Committee Member

____________________________ ____________________________
Dr. Steve Laing Dr. Byron R. Burnham
Committee Member Dean of Graduate Studies

Logan, Utah


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Anne said in conjunction with showing her how to use the grading program, “she [had]

the instructions which hadn’t been passed on to me [and] she copied them off and said,

‘here you are. You will want to keep these forever.’” Her mentor also shared procedures

for grading homework, tests, and other activities.

Becca mentioned that having a poor mentor helped her develop independence.

However, she also mentioned her mentor’s role in helping her expand her program. “She

gave me a lot of suggestions on who to talk to and when to talk to them, things to say to

help with [building my program].” Ester also started off in a poor mentorship. It was not

until her second year that she was assigned a mentor who appeared to genuinely care

about helping her progress. Ester said the mentor taught her “the ins and outs of just

education in general.” For instance, her mentor taught her about how to request and

obtain School Land Trust money for classroom materials. In her case, it was to get white

boards for her classroom.

Howard recalled his mentor was a great source of advice and information. Each

month his mentor would meet with him and the other mentees assigned to her. She

answered whatever questions they had and she also kept them up to speed on school

policies, procedures, testing dates, and even extracurricular events. Howard said,

“Basically anything that was going on in the school she helped us to answer any

questions that we had.” Like Howard’s, Isaac’s mentor did not teach the same subject

area. However, he still got help for what he called “logistical things.” He said,

If I had issues with (pause)…the grading of homework, or the assigning of grades;
or if I needed to talk to her about how to deal with parents and the administration
as we approached [them] and presented some ideas and new things.

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Nancy’s mentorship only lasted her first year. Her mentor accepted a position at

another school and the next year Nancy became the department head and, by default, the

mentor to any new teachers coming into the department. However, that first and only year

with a mentor was beneficial. He shared his knowledge about the IEP (Individual

Educational Plan) process and even coached her through completing multiple IEPs.

Although, he was not much of a mentor in other areas, in this, his advice, expertise, and

experience were extremely helpful, particularly given the integral part of the IEP process

in special education.

Rita said her mentor was a seasoned veteran teacher and always had good advice

and information on “who to talk to and how to go about doing different things on the

district level.” Paula was also grateful for a seasoned mentor who was knowledgeable and

experienced with administrative issues. She said she often felt like the administration,

with all the rules and policies, just got in the way of her teaching. Her mentor was always

able to explain to her why things were the way they were and, to some extent, why things


Theme 2: The Mentor Was a Confidant

Another prevalent theme to emerge from a majority of participants was that the

mentor was a confidant and inspired confidence in the mentee’s ability to teach and

progress in the profession. Being a confidant and instilling confidence is illustrated by

participants’ statements and attitudes about the importance of having someone to talk to

and the importance of having someone who helps them build confidence.

Someone to talk to. The unifying essence of being a confident was made clear

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935 W. Clubhouse Dr. 70-8, Roosevelt, UT 84066 435-725-4536 (w) 435-722-9067 (h) [email protected]

Personal Statement

I believe that learning is a life-long endeavor. It is my own passion for learning that has led me to
the field of education. Teaching affords me the opportunity to constantly read, research, and
learn. Teaching also affords the opportunity to motivate and inspire others to academic
achievement and greater individual scholarship. As people become vested in their education they
begin to achieve great things. I believe the university provides the environment to build an
academic foundation for vocational and personal success. It is my desire and goal to be part of
that environment.


Doctorate of Education, Utah State University, College of Education and Human Services

Logan, Utah. The Emma Eccles School of Teacher Education and Leadership: Graduation:
April 2009.

Dissertation Title: New Beginnings: A Phenomenological Study of the Lived Experiences of
Novice Secondary Teachers who have completed the Induction and Mentorship
Requirements of Utah’s EYE Program. Approved: January 6, 2009.

Chair: Dr. Gary Carlston

Administrative / Supervisory Administrative Certificate (on hold). Utah State University,

College of Education and Human Services.

Master of Public Administration. Brigham Young University (BYU). Provo, Utah: George W.

Romney Institute of Public Management. Graduation: April 1995

Bachelor of Arts. BYU. Provo, Utah: International Relations. Graduation: April 1993.

Secondary Education Certificate. Southern Utah University. Cedar City, Utah: Social Science

Composite and Spanish. Education Certification: August 2001.

Minor. BYU. Provo, Utah: Spanish. Graduation: April 1993.

Teaching Interests

• Foundations of education
• Secondary Social Science courses
• New teacher induction and mentorship programs

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Research Interests

• Beginning teacher preparation and mentoring
• Induction and mentoring principles and measurement tools
• Importance and relevance of Social Studies curriculum

Academic Experience

Member-Delegate. International Society of Teacher Education, the 27th Annual Conference-The

Rocky Mountain Rendezvous. Weber State University. Ogden, Utah, June 2-9, 2009. Paper:
What Mentees Have to Say About Being Mentors.

Conference Presenter. Mountain Plains Adult Education Association Conference. Topic:

Juggling a Dream: The Lived Experience of a Distance Doctoral Student. Salt Lake City,
Utah, April 23-26, 2008.

Social Studies Teacher. Snow Canyon High School, St. George, UT (1998-2002) and Union

High School, Roosevelt, Utah (2003-present). I have nine years of experience successfully
motivating and engaging students in social studies curriculum (primarily US and world
history) through a variety of techniques and strategies.

Assistant Dean of Students. Southern Virginia University. Buena Vista, Virginia (August 2002

– July 2003). While at SVU I successfully chaired the university’s disciplinary review
committee and coordinated new student orientation, along with fulfilling traditional
administrative duties.

Visiting Graduate. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel: Rothberg International School

(July 1994-January 1995). I studied Israeli Politics and US Foreign Policy. I also participated
in a tutorial that dealt with the transition to Palestinian autonomy that was outline in the Oslo
Peace Accords of 1993.

Related Experience

Graduate Assistant. BYU, Provo, Utah Dr. Doyle Buckwalter: Sept. 1993 – April 1994.

Graduate-student Intern. Idaho Falls, Idaho, City of Idaho Falls, Human Resources

Department: May and June 1994.

Undergraduate Internship. Washington, D.C House of Representatives: June – August 1992.

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