The purpose of the article is to analyze the function of mentoring in a school organizational context building on the metaphor of protection. The article shows how the mentor phenomenon can be analyzed using this particular metaphor as a guideline and the strengths and weaknesses of the metaphor are discussed. Interviews with mathematics teachers from Danish upper secondary schools are used to illustrate how the protection metaphor can make sense of the way the mentoring is approached in the schools and what kind of responsibilities the mentor has or should have in his or her relation with the beginning teacher.

Nøkkelord: School-based mentoring, beginning teachers, metaphors, protection, professional development