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The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact that mentoring has on Canadian early career teachers’ (ECTs’) well-being. The authors describe findings from a…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact that mentoring has on Canadian early career teachers’ (ECTs’) well-being. The authors describe findings from a pan-Canadian Teacher Induction Survey (n=1,343) that examined perceptions and experiences of ECTs within K–12 publicly funded schools, with particular interest in retention, career interests and the impact of mentoring on well-being.
An online survey was used to examine perceptions and experiences of ECTs within publicly funded K–12 schools across Canada. For this paper, the authors selectively analyzed 35 survey questions that pertained to mentorship and well-being of ECTs, using quantitative and qualitative procedures.
The findings revealed a strong correlation between the mentoring experiences and well-being of the participating Canadian ECTs. The teachers who did not receive mentorship indicated significantly lower feelings of well-being, and conversely, teachers who participated in some kind of mentorship demonstrated much higher levels of well-being.
This paper draws on the selective analysis of the data from a larger study to elicit the connections between the mentoring support and perceived well-being. Due to inconsistencies in terminology and multifaceted offerings of induction and mentoring supports for ECTs across Canada, there might have been some ambiguity regarding the formal and informal mentorship supports. A longitudinal study that is designed to specifically examine the connection between the mentorship and well-being of ECTs could yield deeper understandings. A comparative study in different international contexts is commended.
The findings showed that the ECTs who did not receive any mentorship scored significantly lower feelings of well-being from external, structural, and internal well-being sources, and conversely, the ECTs who participated in some kind of mentorship scored much higher levels of feelings of well-being. Policy-makers should therefore continue to confidently include mentorship as an intentional strategy to support and help ECTs to flourish. However, inconsistent scoring between individuals and their levels of external, structural and internal well-being suggest that more research on the connection between mentoring and well-being of the ECTs.
Work-life imbalance seems to be more challenging for ECTs than policymakers who provide these expectations are aware. Therefore, excessive work demands and intensive workloads need to be given proper attention for their potential negative effects (such as stress, burnout and absence) on the beginning teachers’ health and well-being. Likewise, purposeful strength-based approaches should be undertaken to establish generative and pro-social efforts to enhance the connectedness, collaboration, collegiality and resilience-building opportunities for novice professionals within flourishing learning communities.
In this paper, the authors have undertaken the first steps in exploring the impact that mentoring has on Canadian ECTs’ well-being. The study increases the understanding of how mentoring can be used as a purposeful strategy to support the well-being of ECTs and retain them in the teaching profession in Canada and potentially in different international contexts.
The purpose of this paper is to describe a qualitative action research study into the collective experiences of establishing a mentoring culture within a research triad…
The purpose of this paper is to describe a qualitative action research study into the collective experiences of establishing a mentoring culture within a research triad consisting of a university professor together with a doctoral student and a master's level student who served as research assistants (RAs). This paper documents a process of ongoing reflection, which was used to gain insight about the personal selves, the professional selves, the role of being a RA, and concepts, ideas, and frameworks that might be useful in fulfilling the work inside and outside of the collaborative research project.
A Faculty of Education within a Canadian university provided the context for the study. A large-scale, pan-Canadian document analysis research project served as the context for mentorship activities. The Adaptive Mentorship© model (Ralph and Walker, 2010) was the tool used to document and analyze experiences of working on the research project. Completion of individual mentoring session reflections, as recommended by the Adaptive Mentorship© model, provided a means for documenting the process and experiences within the triad.
Findings indicated that the enhancement of working environment and the professional growth of all three members of the research triad were primarily achieved as a result of the commitment to collaborative mentoring for the duration of this project rather than as a direct result of application of the model. Nonetheless, the application of the Adaptive Mentorship© model within the research project triad proved to be a valuable tool for supporting the social competence-based and experiential needs.
In the context of this study, collaborative mentoring led to professional growth and an enhancement of the working environment due to multiple contact-points and exposures to specific tasks or skill-sets. The establishment of the mentoring culture and continued identification of individual needs within the triad allowed for adaptive support, appropriate skills development, and an increase in confidence necessary for both students to be successful in their RA positions and in turn, successfully support the university professor to complete the project. The experience suggests that the Adaptive Mentorship© model, if further refined, could be applied to graduate RAships with multiple participants, increasing the potential to enhance research experiences through its focus on one or several specific tasks or skill-sets around which the work is organized.
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…
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.
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.