Cheerleading our Colleagues: Supporting the Social-Emotional Wellbeing During Mentoring of Emerging Technology Learners in Higher Education Faculty
Abstract: The COVID-19 global pandemic has demanded higher education faculty suddenly teach in a virtual environment with little to no preparation. Many of these instructors found themselves in a precarious situation, as they were not necessarily equipped with the tools and knowledge required to successfully enact best practices in their online teaching. Compounding this situation was the social-emotional impact the pandemic had on these educators, adding more stress, anxiety, and even panic to those already burdened by teaching in a completely unfamiliar format. In this presentation, we will share findings from a study exploring the social-emotional impact of the mentor-mentee relationship of higher education colleagues who were required to teach online during various stages of the pandemic. In addition to the leadership and technical support that was the focus of the mentoring sessions, preliminary findings suggest that faculty mentors also provided much needed social-emotional support to their colleagues. The preliminary findings highlighted in the presentation will provide insights and understandings into how the faculty mentors provided social-emotional support during these unique virtual teaching situations. These findings further suggest that considering the social-emotional state of emerging technology learners can potentially be an important component of the mentor-mentee relationship.