The Faculty Mentorship Program contributes to the enhancement of Durham College’s exemplary teaching and learning practices, a goal in our Academic Plan. The program supports new faculty by connecting them with an experienced colleague who provides guidance as well as models exemplary teaching.
The objectives of the program are to provide the mentee with a stronger sense of engagement and support, and to provide the mentor with a leadership opportunity. The mentee and mentor will exchange ideas and practices throughout the semester, enriching teaching excellence in their classrooms.
Faculty participating in the Faculty Mentorship Program (FMP) are encouraged to have collegial discussions and share practices, strategies and ideas. In addition to regular meetings, the mentor and mentee are to engage in collegial and non-evaluative class visits, sharing observations, reflections and practices. The purpose of the class visits is to improve teaching through self-reflection and discussions. This collaborative model of peer observation is to provide mutual benefits for the mentor and mentee (Fletcher, 2018).
Class visits should include a pre-visit meeting one week before the observation to review the course outline, content, potential areas in which the faculty would like feedback, as well as a post-visit meeting one week after the class visit to share observations and reflections.
Formative feedback should focus on the positive elements of the class visit, and areas of improvement should be identified through a developmental lens. The possibilities for Professional Development opportunities should also be discussed. Additional opportunities to engage in peer-to-peer teaching observations include Teaching Squares, offered jointly by the CAFE at Durham College, Ontario Tech University, and Ontario Power Generation. For additional information about teaching squares, see this Faculty Focus article as well as the Center for Teaching Innovation at Cornell University.