The Alberta Teachers’ Association has people and resources that can help in the establishment and operation of teacher mentoring programs.
Beginning teachers cross school thresholds every September with dreams and hopes of making a difference in students’ lives. An Alberta Teachers’ Association research study, Teaching in the Early Years of Practice: A Five-Year Longitudinal Study (2013) suggests that early attrition rates can be reduced through co-ordinated induction practices that help new teachers become long-term professional teachers.
The Association is proud of its longstanding commitment for the past two decades to the success of early career teachers and continues to provide locals and jurisdictions with assistance related to mentorship programs for beginning teachers. The Association’s primary role is to ensure that both mentors and protegés receive adequate preparation and support.
Staff officers in the Professional Development (PD) program area assist in developing mentoring steering committees, frames of reference, mentoring guidelines and programming, and can suggest strategies to promote and maintain a healthy mentorship program. They also tailor the support provided to respond to your local context. The Association has numerous resources on mentoring policies, principles, practices and programming, available in both French and English.
Furthermore, a recently published monograph, A Principal’s Guide to Teacher Induction, offers research-based resources for administrators whose support is critical in the implementation of and ongoing support for mentoring programs. The principal, as administrator and instructional leader of the school, plays a significant role in creating the conditions that will support beginning teachers’ transition into the profession. A half-day workshop for administrators is available, provides an overview of the needs of Alberta beginning teachers, and explores the principal’s role in teacher induction as a culture builder, instructional leader and advocate.
The Association firmly believes that voluntary comprehensive mentorship programs will contribute to the success of beginning teachers throughout their entire careers, provided that these programs are appropriately funded, based on current research, designed for the ongoing professional growth of beginning teachers, constitute the participants’ professional growth plans, sponsored in collaboration with the Association, and supported by knowledgeable, compassionate administrators.
The Association has financial support available for those locals and jurisdictions wishing to establish a collaborative mentoring steering committee, which includes your ATA local, school district and the Association.
If you would like more information about mentorship programs, or if you wish to book a workshop, please feel free to contact me by email at Monique.Gravel@ata.ab.ca or by phone at 780-447-9449.
The Alberta Mentoring Partnership designated January to be Mentoring Month with the aim of raising awareness of the value of mentoring and to highlight the resources it has available to help foster mentoring relationships and programs. For more information, visit albertamentors.ca.