Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

"Teachers as Learning Partners"- Moving into Mentorship

          Today I was the student. At various times throughout the day I felt anxious, I felt awkward, I felt uncertain and I felt inadequate. I also felt empowered, excited and energized to embark on a new journey which will allow me to apply some of my new found knowledge in "real life" scenarios. Hmmm...probably quite similar to how many of my students feel on any given day...
          Aside from the numerous new skills and practices that I was introduced to today, I think perhaps one of the most valuable lessons was the reminder of what it feels like to be the student, to ask the questions, to come to a place of understanding after struggling with new content, new vocabulary and new contexts. The opportunity to engage in ongoing professional development as a teacher not only serves to provide valuable skills, but to remind us what it's like to be on the other side of the desk. Four years out from completing my Masters of Arts in English, I had almost forgotten the exhilaration and yes, exhaustion, that comes from intensive learning.
          Now briefly to the content of my learning experience. Sullivan Heights is embarking on a pilot Peer Mentoring program, "Teachers As Learning Partners". This will provide both new and experienced teachers a framework in which they are able to collaborate with colleagues in a supportive, confidential and non-evaluative manner. I was gifted with an opportunity to spend the day with a diverse and dedicated group of teachers and facilitators who are all excited at the prospect of implementing this new model. Together we hope to establish a mentorship model that provides teachers with a new resource. Through a reciprocal, dynamic and evolving process, we seek to provide colleagues with a range of tools and supports that allows for ongoing growth. Mentors and mentees alike will be learning together as we embark on this new and exciting initiative!

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