Thinking About All Learners
Authentic learning is owned by the learner. It is job-embedded, based on “real world” learning needs, and provides meaningful opportunities for all educators and board staff to learn with (and from) students, colleagues, administrators, parents/guardians and central staff.
Powerful learning designs like mentorship de-privatize instruction, foster collaboration, and support “small l” leadership via the intentional sharing of knowledge and practice between colleagues.
By providing meaningful learning for all we are modelling and supporting the development of the types of iterative and authentic learning ecosystems we would like each educator to create and live with students in their own classrooms. In a nutshell, fostering growth and development for all learners is a critical pre-condition for achieving excellence.
Foundational Elements of Mentorship
In our shared work supporting the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) across the province we are increasingly engaged with school boards providing a continuum of mentorship based on the authentic learning needs of the mentors they support.
Effective mentorship skills are highly transferable and include:
The diagram below illustrates this move away from an “initiative driven” and/or “role specific” approach to supporting mentors to what we characterize as mentoring for all.
Reciprocal learning is a foundational component of all mentoring relationships. One of the most powerful outcomes of mentorship is it serves as a means for job embedded deprivatization of practice and fosters reflection, learning and growth of mentors themselves.
In summary, mentorship is an act of learning.