The lack of personnel, the abandonment of the profession and the decline in pre-service enrolment are very real and their effects are being heavily felt in the education sector. In response to these issues, a web-based distance support platform now offers services to support the next generation of teachers and facilitate their entry into the profession.
Supporting the next generation of educators
Mentoring is recognized as one of the most effective measures for promoting professional integration. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, it has been slow to be implemented systematically in all settings. Some institutions offer structured support, while others provide informal mentoring. Even today, too many new teachers suffer from isolation and lack access to adequate support.
Requests from students, recommendations from the evaluation of training programs, and the findings of a research project led to the development of TrEnsForma. The result of a collaboration between the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and its partners (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Université du Québec à Rimouski and Université de Sherbrooke), TrEnsForma is intended for education students, interns and teachers at the beginning of their career. This Web platform allows to link theory and practice and to help young teachers solve problems experienced in the course of their duties.
Free professional development services
TrEnsForma offers free online assistance, which includes five types of support :
- Mentoring: an advisory service offered by mentors to accompany students or new teachers with specific needs;
- A virtual library: an annotated directory of audiovisual resources, books and relevant sites to meet the needs of future and new teachers;
- Co-training: a service that aims to meet a need for sharing practices by offering co-development groups and online communities of practice;
- Targeted training events: colloquia and theme days aimed at the development and mastery of professional skills underlying teaching;
- Activities for those responsible for the training of trainees, including a pan-Quebec graduate microprogram in teacher professional development.
The platform facilitates pairing between mentor and mentee, and this is its greatest innovation. All you have to do is fill in a short form to be contacted quickly. The modalities of support such as frequency and means of communication are then determined by the dyad. The mentors themselves can count on the support of professors, lecturers, university supervisors, academic advisors and designated teachers to help them in their task.
TrEnsForma is a unique initiative that allows young teachers to take charge of their professional development and, at the same time, to break their isolation. Even at a distance, mentoring remains the most effective way to enter the profession and fully develop.
In addition : Quit or persevere in teaching: a new platform as a possible solutionan article published on The Conversation Canada.