OnEdMentors- A Live and Growing Podcast to Support Educators

Reposted from Medium.

What gives a podcast that begins as a weekly broadcast the staying power to support educators for over 5 years when there are so many educasts available today? I think the story behind the show, itself, is a part of what makes it unique. I know that our commitment to educators and education is clear, and our conviction remain responsive and keep evolving our work is a draw. Additionally, it is the richness of being a part of the voicEd Radio family that assures the integrity and longevity of the show, none of which could be possible without Chief Catalyst, Stephen Hurley, who is always there for audio and post production. These ingredients have been essential to our endurance.

When I first joined OnEdMentors as a panelist in 2017, I couldn’t even imagine how a panel-based show would work on the newly launched voicEd Radio. All I knew when I was invited to join the weekly panel was that I had a lot to say about education, and I was honoured to be considered by Derek Rhodenizer, the original host. It felt especially compelling because it was for preservice teachers/teacher candidates. I was often a host teacher, and anyone who knows me knows that I am really driven to champion teachers. I was brand new to podcasting, in general, but as a risk taker and perpetually curious person, I dove right in. OnEdMentors was a weekly live show, and I was on the panel more often than not when it first began.

About a year after I became a regular panelist, I had this crazy wonderful idea to use the show as a springboard for building mentorship opportunities for preservice teachers. I partnered with an educator who knew how to build the digital infrastructure, and I began to use the show to share updates on this self directed mentorship offering for future educators that we called OnEdMentors Connect. Mentees could choose their Mentor and co-construct the best ways to meet, how often to meet, and set goals.

The Mentoree evolved from OnEdMentors Connect. We have become so much more than our original vision of a 1:1 Mentorship offering, and this show is a vehicle that helps to inform our work while also allowing us to be responsive to questions and ideas raised through our work at The Mentoree which includes Mpact, Conversations to Build Capacity, and Motivators. Watch this quick video to get a sense of what we do and to affirm that you are pronouncing The Mentoree correctly

When I became the host of OnEdMentors 3 years ago, I felt an elevated sense of responsibility. I changed OnEdMentors from being about mentoring Ontario educators, ON, to mentoring educators On education-related topics. I began to build a variety of panels with the voices of a lot of different educators with various roles, interests, backgrounds, and lived experiences. I even started a monthly first Thursday feature called The Mentoree Lounge that carves out space for preservice teachers to ask their burning questions of a panel of Mentors- a shout out to the origin of the show.

Planning is an important part of growing the show. I work hard to find diverse panels and try to book my guests weeks in advance, so that I may provide them with a planner with proposed questions to tweak in order to address the topic at hand in a way that works for everyone. I also invite panelists to share resources that I tweet out during the broadcast. I love when I am able to capture the insights of guests or share their work and the tools they use while they’re speaking about them live on voicEd Radio. I give primary access to members of the The Mentoree community in terms of being on the panels or suggesting episodes, but I also welcome any educator to share their thinking or become panelists. All of this takes time, and I realized that it may also take more perspectives and bodies to keep improving the show.

I have been able to open up the thinking and planning behind the episodes as well as the communication during and after to others. I posted an invitation to volunteers, ideally in the Faculty of Education, to work on the show, and I feel confident that will help make the conversation on Twitter much livelier as well as help us invite even more educators to contribute to the episodes as well as listen to and learn from each other. As we work with more and more course instructors and educators at faculties of education, I hear that episodes have been assigned as resources. That brings me so much joy and fuels my already deep sense of purpose. Podcasts have become my pocket PD, and I am so glad to contribute to the plethora of educational options. I am also excited to have more educators behind OnEdMentors.

Marcia Nicole is the first new addition to the OnEdMentors team. Marcia responded to the post through a friend, and I was transparent with her about the work that goes into each episode. She is an experienced Early Childhood Educator who, while holding a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, is currently studying for a Master’s in early childhood curriculum and is pursuing an undergraduate degree in education. Marcia believes that teaching is a continual process that fosters wonder, encourages investigation and exploration, and enables new possibilities to be explored. I feel the same about this show, and it made me excited to invite her to join the team. You can find Marcia Nicole on IG, Twitter, and Facebook.

OnEdMentors is live each week on voicEd Radio, and we continue to grow an audience both from both the live broadcast and archived episodes. There are some features that have helped to grow the audience for this show and improve my skills as a producer and host. Tweeting during the broadcast adds dimension to the live experience and puts a twist on the Twitter chat. I love when educators respond to a provocation and build on the ideas of panelists through Twitter. I am grateful for Christine Chin and Teri Rubinoff, my partners on the leadership team at The Mentoree who support the show in any way they can. For those those who can’t listen live from 9–10pm EST each Thursday, for various reasons, you can find all of the Twitter chat features using the #OnEdMentors hashtag.

Stephen Hurley is the audio producer of OnEdMentors as well as the man behind voicEd Radio. This show continues to hold space in the live offerings at voicEd Radio. He makes sure that archived shows are up on our page by the weekend. From the time I was first on the panel to becoming a backup host before I was the official host, Stephen has always been there in the background to support the audio production for the live show and to support me. Stephen has been my mentor through all things podcasting, and this show would not happen without him. He has left events early or found backup audio producers to ensure that we are live almost every single week. When my guests gather in the Zencastr room, Stephen checks their audio and sets them up for a great episode. It is his “all clear” that allows us to have a virtual high five after another great episode with guests who teach me so much and drive me to dig deeper inside myself and towards more learning. Stephen and I meet monthly so he can make introductions to potential panelists or educators who can help inform my thinking around an episode. Stephen Hurley is my mentor behind OnEdMentors, and I am grateful for his consistent support and encouragement.

If you haven’t listened to an episode, check out OnEdMentors live from 9:00–10:00 pm EST each week on

You can follow the show using #OnEdMentors and tweeting from our handle @TheMentoree

If you are in education and haven’t heard of, begin here.

As we say at The Mentoree, we all have something to teach, and we all have something to learn. Have a listen, weigh in, lean in to a show that interests you. My drive through all of our work at The Mentoree is to support educators and help educators feel supported.

Let us know an episode idea or share names of potential panelists using this form.

Have a fantastic day, everyone!