Teacher mentorship program underway

Teacher mentorship program underway
Posted on 10/21/2022

Clearview’s teacher mentorship program strengthens teaching and learning


“Teaching at a Colony School is great! It can also feel like I am operating on a little island, alone,” says Rachel Bentley, a 3rd year teacher who arrived in Clearview in 2021-22. Bentley’s kindergarten to grade nine classroom has 14 students and she is the only educator there.

 

 “That’s part of why I love Clearview’s teacher mentorship program," she says. "I really look forward to talking with and collaborating with colleagues. Even though I am in my third year of teaching, it’s been really beneficial for me. I think the frequency of the meetings, the content we are learning, and the relationships that come as a result make Clearview’s teacher mentorship program exceptional.”

teacher mentorship participants


Bentley is one of 15 Clearview teachers participating in the teacher mentorship program this year, being offered again for the first time in several years. Prior to the pandemic, Clearview invited first year teachers, or teachers who were at the beginning of their career who were new to Clearview, to participate. Now that teachers can meet in person again, invitations for this year’s group included educators who would have been included in earlier years.

teacher mentorship participants


“The purpose of the program is to provide a constellation of support for new teachers,” says Mark Siemens, Clearview Director of Human Services. “We are intentionally developing a culture of continuous learning in Clearview, where teachers can grow and improve, and become masterful in their work. We have remarkable and experienced educators who have a wealth of knowledge to share. This program is just the spark to get collaboration going, and I love being able to facilitate it.” 


“Clearview recognizes that great teaching makes a difference for students,” says Scot Leys, Clearview Superintendent. “This program is part of our work to ensure teachers have what they need to be successful and to continue to grow throughout their careers.” 
teacher mentorship participants


New teachers meet monthly throughout the school year as a group led by Siemens. They review specific aspects of the Alberta Teaching Quality Standards that outlines key competencies of an educator. Also, Clearview matches them with an individually selected mentor who not only is a strong teacher, but also has experience relevant to the context of the new teacher. 


Selena Wiart is a first year teacher, assigned to the Coronation Outreach School. She says, “I’m really glad to be a part of the mentorship program. There are so many amazing ideas, and I love working with the other teachers. It’s also reassuring to know that I have a team to support me.”


“I think it’s so important for beginning teachers to have this opportunity,” says Harriet Evans, who is a mentor to a new teacher in Coronation School, after five years of teaching. “I was flattered to be asked and also felt a little nervous, because I am still at the beginning of my career. However, it’s been a great experience. I remember what it is like to be new. I am glad I can be there for my colleague, so she feels comfortable knowing that it’s ok to ask questions. I enjoy our collaboration time together.” 


Evans says she has grown from having the opportunity. “It’s so nice to sit down and brainstorm about specific challenges. It’s not just my colleague that is learning. We both are!  Our discussions help me reflect on my own teaching practice and to get better at meeting the needs of my students.”  

teacher mentorship participants


“The mentor-mentee relationship is symbiotic for sure,” says Siemens. “New teachers to the profession bring enthusiasm and ideas based on new research. Our experienced teachers bring best practices they have honed through their career. Sharing these important ideas with each other contributes to the positive growth of both individuals, to everyone in the program, and ultimately it helps Clearview strengthen its core purpose: effective teaching to make a difference for our students.”