The Reggio Emilia approach is rewarding, fascinating and exciting. But it is also complex and requires much work, practice and dedication.
At Frog Hollow we have realized that training our educators and providing them with as many professional development opportunities as possible help us keep the culture of wondering and reflecting going. But we all know the ECE and the Middle Years field is not a stable one; educator turn-over is common in our programs, and we continue to struggle with this reality.
So we asked ourselves, how do we keep up with the ever-changing dynamics of the educator team in our Reggio-Inspired programs at Frog Hollow?
The answer seemed to be rooted in our own programs: it is essential to continue to provide different levels of professional development to our educators, but it is also important to have educators in our organization that mentor other educators, provide them with basic training, and support them with facilitating their curriculum meetings.
Our mentors have gone through a series of trainings and continue to learn and get support. They stay connected, and they support each other in their thinking. They support the professional development team in offering basic training for our educators and they attend different programs’ weekly curriculum meetings to offer support.
Through becoming a Reggio mentor, I have discovered my relationship with my team is developing deeper roots. I feel, as a mentor, I am given the opportunity to take part in intimate view points and experiences within the journey of the Reggio approach through another's eyes which bolsters and energizes my own journey. – Trish
Since we have found this mentorship system so valuable at Frog Hollow, we would like to offer it to other organizations and educators who may be interested. The Frog Hollow Reggio-Inspired Mentor program is designed for Reggio-Inspired programs who would like to implement in-house mentorship for their own educators. Based on Frog Hollow’s take on the Reggio Emilia approach, our program trains mentors to work with educators in their teams and provide everyday suggestions on the floor and during curriculum meetings.
While the mentors will explore the Reggio Emilia approach and other BC-related childcare matters in depth, the program is designed to train them to provide basic mentorship, leadership, and training to their own educators in their own organizations – this program is not designed to train “teachers” who would train or mentor educators outside of their home organizations.
Being a Reggio inspired mentor has given me the opportunity to connect and build meaningful relationships with other educators. It has confirmed the value of sharing our journeys, reflections, struggles & wonders. I hope to inspire and provoke thoughts for continued growth, understanding and implementation of this inspired approach. – Mike
Participants receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program indicating the hours they have completed and the courses they have studied. The program includes three courses, one project and one practicum and is 5 to 7 months long – depending on the length of the practicum. Courses are a mix of face to face (live) and Skype meetings to make it most convenient and practical for working participants.
For information about this program, please contact Maryam.