A grant from the Ministry of Education was approved in Spring 2012 to support a joint BC Teachers’ Federation/University of British Columbia pilot project aimed at developing mentoring programs to support new teachers within BC school districts that currently do not have structured mentoring programs. The goal of the New Teacher Mentoring Project (NTMP) was to provide a coherent, research-based, and sustainable system of support for teachers in their early years throughout the province.
Alison Davies, an elementary teacher from School District 46 (Sunshine Coast), is the co-ordinator of the project hired to oversee project development. Alison and an administrative assistant, Wendy Leslie, who work in the offices of the Professional and Social Issues Division of the BCTF, report to the New Teacher Mentoring Project Advisory Committee, which includes members from the BCTF, the BC School Superintendents’ Association, and the University of BC.
In the pilot year, applications came from 20 school districts across British Columbia. The three districts of Haida Gwaii, Kootenay Columbia, and Kamloops Thompson were chosen for representing different characteristics in size, urban/rural, and cultural geography. The early months of the project focused on establishing a framework for a mentorship program within these three districts and building an understanding of effective mentorship for 58 participating teachers.
In this second year of the project, in addition to providing ongoing support to the three pilot districts, the co-ordinator is collaborating with the new districts/locals of Sooke, Sea to Sky, and Peace River North to provide workshops in building dynamic and reciprocal-learning relationships between mentors and mentees. The project has grown to involve 65 mentors and 73 mentees new to the teaching profession or who have recently changed assignments.
The ongoing aim for growth and development of the NTMP, given continuing Ministry of Education support, is to develop and strengthen the quality and sustainability of mentoring programs and processes responsive to the differing contexts and cultures of schooling throughout the province. The NTMP will continue to expand yearly, building upon participant feedback which defines the learning, leadership, and understanding of mentorship taking shape within the landscape of education in British Columbia.
The project is currently working for a second year with the school district of Kamloops Thompson, Kootenay Columbia, and Haida Gwaii. Additional districts for 2013 are Sooke, Peace River North, and Sea to Sky.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Education.
Mentoring in the Primary Classroom
Reciprocity in a Mentoring Project
New Teacher Mentoring Project. Teacher Newsmagazine, Volume 25, Number 4, Jan./Feb. 2013
New Teacher Mentoring Project Secures Ongoing Funding. Teacher Newsmagazine, Volume 25, Number 7, May/June 2013
New Teacher Mentoring Project building effective mentoring programs and practice in BC. The Mentor newsletter. December 2013, Issue 3