How much time per cycle do you spend mentoring colleagues?

  • It can vary greatly depending on what is happening in the school at any given time. Typically I recieve an average of 1 ICT request each day. Occasionally I field 5+ requests per day. The amount of time I spend on these requests can range from 5 minutes to the majority of the day.

Are you allocated time in your day/week/cycle specifically to mentor your colleagues? Explain.

  • Yes, as the teacher-librarian I have quite a bit of flexibility in my schedule. I am almost always able to respond to ICT requests within the day I recieve them, unless they are larger requests that require support from divisional IT or require changes/additions to infrastructure
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Describe a typical mentoring experience? What does it look like? (Pull-out, co-teach, workshops, etc.) Do you only mentor colleagues in your own school or do you visit other schools?

  • At the school level we have a technology focus group that organizes and delivers 2 or 3 PD sessions throughout the year, which focus on how to access and use new tools and how to work with the LwICT continuum. This group also acts as a support network for other staff who require assistance with ICT. Personally I often recieve "touch and go" requests from teachers which I do my best to follow up on personally so that they understand why they had an issue or problem and how it was resolved. Due to the flexibility in my schedule, I can also often attend to requests as they come up and walk through the solutions in "real time".

Are you allocated time to plan your mentoring experiences?

  • Yes, I am able to schedule this planning into my worktime, and if I need any special release time it is usually provided
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Do you have opportunities to meet/network with other mentors in your school division? If so, how do you meet? (Face to Face, online, video conferencing, etc.)

  • I was a part of the divisional LwICT cohort in PTSD. This was an opportunity to meet face to face with many of the technology leaders in the division. I have made several contacts from other schools who I can communicate with via email when I want to seek out their input on something.

Who decides who you mentor? Please explain. For example, do you work with all your colleagues, only interested colleagues or are they assigned to you? What about reluctant teachers? To whom do you report your progress?

  • I am the main contact person for technology issues at the school, so it is mainly the mentees that determine who I mentor. I try my best to give each person and request the time needed to properly address it. I try to initiate contact with reluctant teachers and I frequently alert all staff to ICT tools and opportunities that might be of interest to them. I report on technology and LwICT to the admin. at the school and to the divisional consultant/LwICT cohort
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Have you set up an online professional learning network to support your colleagues? (Wikis, blogs, Diigo, Delicious, First Class, etc)

  • Our school has a well developed website including a wiki that provides a collaborative space for teachers and students and provides access to a wealth of educational resources. I receive alerts from John Evans' Diigo, which often alerts me about new interactive tools and websites that are used by teachers frequently.

Please answer this question on Day 4 only!

If you could choose the way you mentor, what would it look like? What supports would facilitate your role as mentor?

  • It's hard to say exactly what mentoring "should" look like. It should look like many things, but fundamentally it is relationships, communication, and a culture of learning that values the outcomes of professional development and student achievement. It can be everything from large scale divisional workshops to school level inservicing, to 5 minute hallway conversations. It can even be done in a virtual space through the use of the web.
  • The most important supports in my experience have been divisional support and school level administrative support. Leadership plays a huge role in all aspects of instruction including LwICT. Training opportunities, flexible timetables and the chance to assist with planning school budgets related to ICT have been essential to my role as a mentor. If a mentor has to deal with administrative obstacles, it is very difficult to address issues such as reluctant teachers and the infusion of LwICT into classroom practices.