An aleatoric Odyssey: exploring mentoring practices in the Florida Bandmasters Association
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Mentoring first-year teachers has become a standard induction practice in most public school systems. To enhance this practice, in 2005 the Florida Bandmasters Association established a mentoring committee to oversee district sponsored mentoring programs. Unfortunately, since that time, mentoring among secondary band directors in the state of Florida has not made much progress. The FBA program did not have guidelines for the mentor or mentee, or a system of evaluation to monitor or assess the benefits and quality of the program. This study used a phenomenographic lens and case study approach to view the lived experiences of mentors and protégés in the Florida Bandmasters Association. Suggestions and guidelines are also offered to improve the quality of mentoring among mentors and novice directors. The comprehensive goal of this study was to illuminate issues, practices, and relationships in mentoring among secondary band directors. The study specifically explored: In what ways do mentors and protégés describe their lived experience and perceived roles in mentor-protégé pairings? In what ways do mentors and protégés value mentoring as a component of a novice director's induction into the music education profession? How do mentors and protégés perceive and describe the collective mentoring relationship? This study adds to the evidence on effective mentoring and effective mentors. Mentoring among secondary band directors in the state of Florida is, at the very least, moderately effective. However, moderately effective mentors will not be the transformational leaders that can prepare novice music educators for success in the future. The Florida Bandmasters Association must take a comprehensive look at the needs of its novice educators and the needs of the career educators expected to guide them.