Teacher Candidate Mentor Program Launched
On September 12, 2012, nearly 200 students from the Faculty of Education came together for the inaugural Teacher Candidate Mentor Program Launch Event (T.Ca.M.P.) – a new Faculty initiative spearheaded by the Education Student Council. Newly admitted Faculty of Education students (“Little Sibs”) are matched with returning students (“Big Sibs”) in the program. The Big Sibs provide support for their Little Sibs who are transitioning into a new faculty.
Organized and developed during the summer months before the start of the 2012 school year, one of the Mentor Program’s goals is to encourage B.Ed. students to foster positive relationships with their peers and build community within the faculty.
Education Student Council’s Senior Stick, Peiki Loay, explained, “We really wanted to cultivate a school climate where teacher candidates feel supported, connected, and excited about teaching and learning. The Mentor Program gives students a chance to meet new people, and to also explore the role of educators as mentors. Our hope is that one day they will go and be mentors for the children and youth in their own classrooms.”
Excitement was in the air as the participants signed in and began combing the crowd for their Big Sibs and Little Sibs. As students arrived, they were able to participate in conversation icebreakers while listening to music. The afternoon’s program began with an inspirational video and enthusiastic opening presentation by Peiki. This was followed by a moving keynote presentation from Michael Redhead Champagne, an advocate of initiatives for inner-city youth, who spoke about the importance of mentoring.
The Big Sibs and Little Sibs then participated in interactive, small group breakout sessions facilitated by Education Student Council Members where students had the opportunity to discuss various aspects of mentoring and reflect on mentors who have made a difference in their own lives – including those who inspired them to choose a career in education.
“Everyone on Student Council worked really hard to implement the program, but it’s the student body that’s going to make it successful. Seeing all the teacher candidates here, today, building community together… it’s really exciting!” said Peiki.
Throughout the school year, the Mentor Program participants will connect informally in order to share experiences and ask questions along with attending a second official Mentor Event in January 2013.
For more information, please contact the Education Student Council at edsc [at] cc [dot] umanitoba [dot] ca.