Graduate Diploma in Education (GDE) Mentors

Applications open:
September 10, 2022
Applications close:
September 22, 2022
Next start date:
Fall 2022

A GDE consists of 30 credits of coursework over two years in a specific theme and are offered in the evening at off-campus sites (usually within a school district) in a cohort basis. Mentoring GDE students has been incorporated into all GDE offerings as a means of supporting individual and collective inquiry and reflective practice. Mentors offer educators the lenses and support they need to discover their own solutions.

Overview

GDEs and Mentors

All GDE programs provide opportunities for K-12 educators to engage in classroom- or school-based inquiry using a Field Studies framework. During a Field Study experience, each Mentor meets with a small group of students. The main purpose of these meetings is to allow students to identify or clarify issues that are currently at play in their practice. The networking, dialogues and problem solving that occur are also an important source of support and encouragement for educators struggling with curriculum and pedagogical change. At the end of the implementation and reflection period, students submit to the Mentor a portfolio documenting their learning.  

GDE activities are designed to address the continuing education needs of experienced educators whose primary focus is school-based educational practice. Learning opportunities for educators are offered in a variety of formats that are constantly evolving. Mentoring has been incorporated into all GDE offerings as a means of supporting individual and collective inquiry and reflective practice. A Mentor is firstly a sounding board — someone who can listen to a teacher’s description of the challenges they are experiencing and identify the underlying issues at play. A Mentor is also a gentle questioner — someone who is able to ask clarifying questions that allow educators to identify, for themselves, beliefs, assumptions and issues that may need to be examined or re-examined. Mentors recognize the importance of encouraging students to do their own problem identification and problem solving. Unlike workshop leaders, whose primary role is to present information and give solutions or provide answers, Mentors offer educators the lenses and support they need to discover their own solutions.

Common Features of GDE Programs

All GDE programs combine the following five dimensions of teacher development:

  1. investigation of current theory, research and pedagogy in a selected theme
  2. critical examination of related policy, curricular, instructional and assessment practices
  3. focused planning, implementation and research connecting theme studies to the individual’s professional context
  4. development of a criteria-referenced portfolio demonstrating ongoing reflection and documenting significant learning over the duration of the program
  5. ongoing participation in and contributions to both the cohort learning community and the broader educational community

Who should apply

Applicants should be:

  • Knowledgeable as an educator, with breadth in the theme of the program
  • Experienced in working with adult learners
  • Self-directed learners with an orientation toward teacher inquiry
  • Able to build positive relationships with individuals and work effectively in a team environment
  • Able to support teacher professional development as a long-term learning process
  • Reliable, flexible, and comfortable in a dynamic, ever-changing work environment;
  • Able to commit to a two-year involvement and available for evening/summer classes as required, planning meetings, Professional Learning Event (Spring or Fall - evening), Annual Mentor Conference (February - Saturday) and regular contact with the teacher-learners in t heir Mentor group;
  • Currently employed in a B.C. school district or possess current knowledge of B.C. schools (K-12).

About the experience

Mentor Responsibilities

Mentors generally work with a group of 6-8 teacher-learners in a cohort and responsibilities include:

  • supporting ongoing learning and reflective self-assessment;
  • reviewing and responding to individual learning portfolios and field study documents;
  • responding to e-mails and suggesting resources to assist teachers with their field study work;
  • leading learning-focused discussions for planning, problem-solving and reflecting purposes;
  • providing a response to presentations of field studies and portfolios;
  • assisting teacher-learners to create realistic learning and fieldwork plans, develop and complete projects, and demonstrate and reflect on what they learn from these activities;
  • fostering critical examination of beliefs and assumptions that influence teachers’ educational decisions;
  • encouraging teacher collaboration and supportive educational communities;
  • participating in planning and debriefing sessions with other Mentors and the Faculty Associate;
  • participating in a Professional Learning Event (Spring or Fall in the evening) and annual Mentor Conference (February on a Saturday).

The frequency, nature and length of each Mentor’s contribution will vary from term-to-term, depending on the needs of the students and the nature of each individual program. Involvement takes place both during and outside of GDE class times.

Mentor Compensation

Typically, Mentors are compensated for approximately 20 hours of in-class work per term, as well as an equivalent number of additional hours of work outside class hours. Mentors are compensated at an established rate per term, paid biweekly. Details will be included with Mentor postings.

Mentor Support

The greatest challenge for Mentors is to offer educational guidance and encouragement without directing the learner’s path or limiting opportunities for individuals to make meaningful professional decisions. Each Mentor finds different ways to help individual students develop confidence as self-directed learners and problem solvers.

Mentors also benefit from working and learning together as a supportive team. Team building is an important aspect of the Mentor development component provided by the university as part of this collaborative program.

How to Apply

Step 1: Check for Postings

GDE Mentors are hired during the fall, spring and summer terms. Check this space regularly for specific postings. Graduate Diploma Mentor positions are posted for two-weeks immediately preceding or at the beginning of the first term of a two-year program. If you are interested in mentoring in a GDE program, we encourage you to review our upcoming programs on the GDE program page to see if there is a program theme that meets your area(s) of experience. If there is, please check below for available positions.

Step 2: Submit application form

Email the following to Dr. Paula Rosehart, Associate Director, Advanced Professional Studies c/o: aps_general_admin@sfu.ca  

  • Completed GDE Mentor Application Form
  • Letter of application indicating interest and qualification
  • Your current resume/CV

Open postings

There are currently no postings available.

Questions?

For more information about becoming a GDE mentor, contact: