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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.
This thinking piece examines, from the viewpoint of two Canadian pracademics in the pandemic, the role of pedagogy and professionalism in crisis teaching and learning. The…
This thinking piece examines, from the viewpoint of two Canadian pracademics in the pandemic, the role of pedagogy and professionalism in crisis teaching and learning. The purpose of the paper is to highlight some of the tensions that have emerged and offer possible considerations to disrupt the status quo and catalyze transformation in public education during the pandemic and beyond.
This paper considers the current context of COVID-19 and education and uses the professional capital framework (Hargreaves and Fullan, 2012) to examine pandemic pedagogies and professionalism.
The COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted educational systems into emergency remote teaching and learning. This rapid shift to crisis schooling has massive implications for pedagogy and professionalism during the pandemic and beyond. Despite the significant challenges for educators, policymakers, school leaders, students and families, the pandemic is a critical opportunity to rethink the future of schooling. A key to transformational change will be for schools and school systems to focus on their professional capital and find ways to develop teachers' individual knowledge and skills, support effective collaborative networks that include parents and the larger school community and, ultimately, trust and include educators in the decision-making and communication process.
This thinking piece offers the perspective of two Canadian pracademics who do not wish for a return to “normal” public education, which has never serve all children well or equitably. Instead, they believe the pandemic is an opportunity to disrupt the status quo and build the education system back better. Using the professional capital framework, they argue that it will be educators' professionalism and pandemic pedagogies that will be required to catalyze meaningful transformational change.
International educational research has shown that high quality coaching, mentoring, and induction for beginning teachers can enhance development and retention of highly…
International educational research has shown that high quality coaching, mentoring, and induction for beginning teachers can enhance development and retention of highly effective teachers and, ultimately, increase student success. In Canada, like many jurisdictions, teacher induction programs have grown in popularity as a means to support beginning teachers, yet programs vary greatly in terms of delivery and effectiveness. This chapter presents the findings from a qualitative case study that examined one bespoke teacher induction program in the Western Québec School Board (WQSB). Specifically, it reports on the experience of mentor–coaches (MC) who are part of the school district’s Mentoring and Coaching Fellowship (MCF). In the district, mentoring and coaching are viewed as distinct, yet interconnected components of an effective induction program. In the WQSB, teaching fellows and MCs learn together in a social and situated context (Lave & Wenger, 1991) as they focus on four key elements: the practice of teaching, navigating school and district culture, what it means to be a teacher, and the formation of a teaching identity. Research has shown effective coaching and mentoring programs not only enhance teaching and learning, but also they offer powerful benefits to veteran teachers. With mentoring and coaching practice highly diverse and inconsistent depending on the quality of the relationship and the context, it is clear that effective selection, support and professional learning and development for MCs is essential. This chapter examines the strengths and challenges of the school district’s Mentor–Coach Professional Learning Network (MC PLN) from the perspective of network members. Data collected from questionnaires, focus groups and semi-structured interviews were abductively analyzed with and against Brown and Poortman’s (2018) five supporting conditions for effective PLNs. Study findings indicated that the MC PLN offers valuable professional learning and development for participants and is a critical feature in a powerful induction program that also focuses on “growing the top.” However, challenges also emerged that highlight the need for the district to ensure ongoing attention to the PLN’s structure and processes in order to sustain MC motivation, engagement, and commitment.