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Early Career Mentorship in Rural Schools

My research interest in early career mentorship for teachers comes from my recent teaching experience.  Upon graduating from the West Kootenay Teacher Education program in 2008, I accepted the position as Head of Geography at a small private school in Edmonton, AB, and taught grades 7 through 11 world regional geography and earth science.  During that precarious time, as a new teacher, I was always learning and trying to find what worked for me, my students and the class as a whole.  I had wonderful professional and emotional support from my administration, colleagues, family and friends but felt that the experience lacked formal guidance specifically suited to my needs within my subject area.  My motivation for pursuing an MA in Curriculum and Pedagogy at UBC came from realizing the need for formally structured mentorship programs for early year career teachers with subject specific needs.  Creating the conditions to set up the needs for effective mentorship programs will be the focus of my research and my goals within this project are to create an alternative to the ‘token’ or ad hoc mentorship programs currently in place and provide foundational scaffolding that guides early year teachers confidently towards competent independence.  The value of such a program will be that the mentor and mentored will become better educators, through the nature of the reciprocal relationship and early year teachers will have more formal support within a practical setting, thereby improving one part of the education system wherein students are the ultimate beneficiaries.

Christine Clitheroe

Master of Arts Studen,t Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy, UBC Faculty of Education

  1. Linda Kaser says
    02 May 11, 1:29pm

    Hi Christine – your area of study sounds genuinely important. Will you be looking at what works for elementary teachers as well?

    both my mother and my father taught in small rural schools – so this has been a lifetime interest for me!


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