The Israeli partners of the Erasmus + Promentors project convened for a two day conference at Neveh Ilan C Hotel in the Jerusalem Hills.The conference was an opportunity to reflect on the project’s progress and discuss plans for the final year of the partners work together.
The first day began with greetings and words of gratitude to the team, in general, and to the steering committee and others who lead and manage Promentors, both pedagogically and operatively. Dr. Reuma De- Groot and Dr. Bilha Bashan gave an overview of the plans for the coming year, focusing on the continuation of the mentor courses and initiatives, such as a research forum and a research learning community. Ms. Irit Sarig, responsible for mentors and mentoring in the Ministry of Education, introduced the conference to the decision and implementation by the Ministry of “Mentors’ Future Picture” which will change the position of mentoring from being temporary to being a professional advancement for the mentor by becoming a more permanent, highly- valued position within schools. Irit emphasized that the change in the approach toward mentoring and mentors is an outcome of the work and research of the Promentors project. Next, a presentation, including descriptions and statistics of the colleges’ courses was given, including insights on future planning and reporting. The final part of the morning was a dynamic and motivating round- table workshop focusing on issues of mentoring. Each group discussed their topic, prepared a poster and presented it in an engaging round- robin poster presentation format. The final part of the first day dealt with new findings from research focusing on the positioning of mentoring and a presentation of the social-emotional and educational characteristics of the factors for the formation of professional identity of novice and intern teachers in Arab society.
The second day began with greetings and an overview of the objectives, implementation, future plans and impact of Erasmus + projects in Israel by Ms. Naama Levi, the temporary head of the Erasmus+ office, Strategy and International Division of The Higher Education Council. Dr Michal Yanko, from Kaye College, then inspired the partners with a workshop called “Mentoring as Reflected in Music”. The day continued with a panel of representatives from all the partnering colleges called “Challenges, Strengths and Weaknesses, Possibilities and Risks: Where do we go from here?”. The panel shared their experiences and insights which was not only an opportunity for reflection for the whole team but also was practical for the continuation of the project and for mentoring in Israel. Next, Dr. Raul Drachman discussed with the partners managerial issues, including the extension of the project and starting to prepare the final reports. We continued the day with division into groups for discussion and reporting of the conference participants, which either dealt with research or reflection on the syllabi of the mentor training courses. The final session focused on preparations for the visit of the European partners in November and a general summary of the meeting.
The two day conference was intensive, reflective and inspiring, giving the partners the information and direction for both the final year of the project and the future of mentoring in Israel.