The Teaching Co-Mentorship Program is based on the understanding that teaching can best be supported and improved through mutual mentoring when participants from different faculties and departments at all stages of their academic careers come together as partners to explore and develop each other’s teaching through a process of probing dialogue, reflection and self discovery. It is widely understood that changes in teaching practices that better support learning are best achieved through active involvement in such professional dialogue. Equally as important is the awareness that stimulating change and experimentation in teaching practices requires a non-judgmental and non-threatening cooperative environment. When colleagues of equal status come together there is a better chance that they will share ideas and develop their thinking in an atmosphere of trust and cooperation.
Goal of the CTL Teaching Co-Mentorship Program
The main goal of CTLs Teaching Co-Mentorship Program is to encourage peer-to-peer support to assist in the development and success of all university-level teachers.
Features of the CTL Teaching Co-Mentorship Program
The following features characterize the CTL Teaching Co-Mentorship Program:
Collegial – Co-mentorships are non-hierarchical with both parties having equal standing in the partnership.
Collaborative – Both parties work together to explore challenges and successes in their day-to-day teaching practice; mutual accountability is important to the success of the partnership.
Relational – Partnerships are built on respect, caring, trust and support.
Confidential – Partnerships are seen as safe spaces where what is discussed is kept in confidence.
Reciprocal – Co-mentorships are mutually beneficial so that both parties are learning about their teaching from the experience.
Contextual – Questions and topics to be explored through the mentorship arise directly from the partners’ teaching experience.
Personalized – Co-mentorships address each individual’s specific needs.
Reflective – Those in a co-mentorship regularly engage in thoughtful reflection on perceptions and actions.
Transformational – At the heart of the co-mentorship is the desire to bring about change in one’s teaching that leads to increased confidence and growth.
Empowering – Participants believe that they are capable of making change in their teaching practice and have the motivation to do so.
Role of CTL in the Teaching Co-Mentorship Program
CTL will assume the role of soliciting interested parties to take part in the Teaching Co-Mentorship program through an online application process. A workshop providing an overview of the program will be provided to explain the research behind the program and the logistics of engaging in a partnership. Opportunities will be arranged for matching partners and for reassigning partnerships after an interim period (one month) if individuals’ needs are not being met. CTL will also provide a variety of resources including scholarly articles and research on possible prompts for discussion should the partners wish to use them.
If you would like to join a Teaching Co-Mentorship please fill in the attached application form. If you have questions about the program contact email@example.com with Teaching Co-Mentorship Program in the subject line.
Recommended References for Further Reading
Allen, T., & Eby, L. (Eds.) (2007). The Blackwell handbook of mentoring: A multiple perspectives approach. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
Bland, C., Taylor, A., Shollen, L. Weber-Main, A., & Mulcahy, P. (2009). Faculty success through mentoring: A guide for mentors, mentees and leaders. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Cartwright, D. (2008). Mentorship in academia. University of Western Ontario Teaching Support Centre. Retrieved from http://www.uwo.ca/tsc/resources/pdf/PG_2_mentoring.pdf
Gorinski, R., Fraser, C., & Ayo, L. (2010). Mentoring as a key strategy in the development of a community of reflective practitioners in tertiary education. In O. Kwo (Ed.) Teachers as Learners. CERC Studies in Comparative Education, 26, 217-241. Johnson, W., & Ridley, C. (2008). The elements of mentoring. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mijares, L., Baxley, S., & Bond, M. (2013). Mentoring: A concept analysis. Journal of Theory Construction & Testing, 17(1), 23-28.
Sorcinelli, M., & Yun, J. (2009). Mutual mentoring guide. University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved from http://www.umass.edu/ctfd/mentoring/downloads/Mutual%20Mentoring%20Guide%20Final%2011_20.pdf
Smith, J., Whitman, J., & Grant, P. (2001). Peer networking as a dynamic approach to supporting new faculty. Innovative Higher Education, 25(3), 197-207.
Yun, J. & Sorcinelli, M. (2009). When mentoring is the medium: Lessons learned from a faculty development initiative. In L. Nilson (Ed.) To improve the academy, 27 (pp. 365384), San Francisco, CA: JosseyBass.