Collaborative Conversations Between Teacher and School Leader Candidates: A Co-Mentoring Network Develops
Keywords:organizational psychology, co-mentoring, co-mentoring networks, co-mentoring between pre-service K-12 teachers and aspiring K-12 school leaders, culturally sustaining, socially just pedagogy, collaborative conversations between pre-service K-12 teachers and aspiring K-12 school leaders
A co-mentoring network developed as teacher and school leader candidates met together during their preparation programs to discuss culturally sustaining, socially just pedagogy. The discussions were structured to be collaborative and conversational using shared anchor readings. This study reports the processes and practices used in establishing the co-mentoring network, themes that emerged from the candidates’ collaborative conversations, and how the candidates developed the co-mentoring network. The co-mentoring network used a relational mentoring stance (Fletcher & Ragins, 2007), exploring the three tenets of relational cultural theory: interdependent self-in-relation, growth-fostering interactions, and systemic power, which can affect mentoring relationships. Network participants sought to establish communication styles and trust which encouraged participants to share vulnerabilities with each other (Zachary & Fischler, 2014) while seeking to learn from each other’s experiences through discussion and reflection. It was through these discussions and the candidates’ reflections on their conversations that a co-mentoring network began to develop.