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Blog: Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Growing Mentorship and Career Paths

In September, we were excited to pilot a new role in Learning Support Services and a career path for Education Assistants. Alicia Kroeker and Connie Hampson were the successful candidates for “Senior Education Assistant”. Working collaboratively with the LSS team alongside helping educators Angela Montgomery and Jerry Loeppky, Alicia and Connie provide formal mentoring for EA’s. This peer support includes job-shadowing and modelling, creative problem-solving, training, resources, and guidance for professional development, based on the instructional support competencies (available in the Employee Toolkit).

One specific area is in the Intensive Behaviour Triple I program providing Intensive Intervention for Inclusion of K and Grade 1 students with autism. Led by Angela Montgomery over four weeks, Connie and Alicia spend whole days alongside school EA’s building rapport with the child and modelling ABA techniques, giving the classroom EA’s plenty of time to try things on their own. After tweaking strategies over the four weeks, the plan is finalized and school staff are prepared to move forward.

It is evident that Alicia and Connie have both expertise and passion for their new role, as their enthusiasm is palpable. They identified the power of peer mentoring as one of the keys to success, noting a growth in EA confidence with those they have worked with, and that these EA’s are willing to take risks and try new ways with students for success.

Alicia and Connie have assisted school EA’s in providing intensive interventions for nine students in K and Gr 1, and they are also able to support EA’s working in other grades as well. This powerhouse duo has mentored 36 EA’s with several mentees suggesting that every EA can benefit from this program. Gaby Martinez said, “The most helpful part was that I saw how my mentor built rapport with the student I support. I saw so much progress in such a short week. I am encouraged to continue to build that relationship. Dora Vuu said, “I learned new strategies from my mentor to help my student calm down and focus on the task.”

Sharing their ideas and expertise with their peers has been a rewarding experience for Alecia and Connie. They have earned a lot of positive feedback and their support is making a difference for students. If you would like to connect with Alecia and Connie about mentoring, you can email them directly. If you are interested in the Triple I program, please contact Angela Montgomery via email or at 604-504-0026.

Michele Radomski
Associate Superintendent, Human Resources