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“I love this stuff!”: a Canadian case study of mentor–coach well-being

Trista Hollweck (Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 6 September 2019

Issue publication date: 15 October 2019



The purpose of this paper is to report on a qualitative case study that examined the potential benefits, challenges and implications of the mentor–coach (MC) role as a supportive structure for experienced teachers’ well-being and sense of flourishing in schools.


The qualitative case study used data collected from surveys, interviews, focus groups and documentation. Data were coded and abductively analyzed using the “framework approach” with and against Seligman’s well-being PERMA framework. In order to include an alternative stakeholder perspective, data from a focus group with the district’s teacher union executive are also included.


Using the constituting elements of Seligman’s well-being (PERMA) framework, experienced teachers reported positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and accomplishment from their MC experience. However, the MC role is not a panacea for educator well-being. Rather, the quality and effectiveness of the mentoring and coaching relationship is a determining factor and, if left unattended, negative experiences could contribute to their stress and increased workload.

Research limitations/implications

The data used in this study were based on a limited number of survey respondents (25/42) and the self-selection of the interview (n=7) and focus group participants (n=6). The research findings may lack generalizability and be positively skewed.


This study contributes to the current lack of empirical research on the MC experience and considers some of the wider contextual factors that impact effective mentoring and coaching programs for educators.



The author gratefully acknowledges financial support for this doctoral research project from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The author would like to thank the participants in this study for sharing their experiences, the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful and detailed feedback, Pam Firth for editing expertise and Drs Benjamin Kutsyuruba and Lorraine Godden for their encouragement and support in developing this paper.


Hollweck, T. (2019), "“I love this stuff!”: a Canadian case study of mentor–coach well-being", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 325-344.



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