Mentorship is personal care, and connection is time taken out to better ourselves

ECE, Kamloops, Reflection

I am inspired to be both mentored and a mentor

ECE, Terrace, Reflection

I liked that all of us see ourselves as professionals and want to hold each other to a higher standard

ECE, Vancouver, Reflection

In a community of practice, each voice is valued and respected.  Learning happens from within the group.

A Peer-mentoring model was used as new ECEs acknowledged that they had value and have things to contribute in a mentoring relationship.  By using a non-hierarchical approach, we hoped that learning would occur for both new and experienced early childhood educators.

An important component of the peer-mentoring community of practice was the individual members’ practice of confidentiality. Past participants who took part in the pilot project (and subsequent projects) highlighted the importance of having a safe place to share openly about practice issue

The project paired up beginning and experienced ECEs so they could share their experiences, learn from each other, become part of a respected collective voice, and build an effective network of support.

The ECE pairs met monthly for face-to-face group gatherings, and had the opportunity to meet weekly, either face-to-face, online, or through the telephone. Each Peer-Mentoring Group had a private online platform, where members could post and engage in discussion. Facilitators posted weekly provocations, and educators had the opportunity to engage with the posts, and to post their own questions, thoughts, and ponderings.

The individual communities of practice had autonomy about what they chose to do, in terms of professional development, and the hope was that this would a) enable educators to identify and focus on their own motivations and/or interests, and b) encourage educator efficacy (educators’ confidence in themselves). The idea behind the professional development is that it is offered the opportunity to revisit and to continue the dialogue, through future group meetings, in pairs, and through the online platforms.