Mentoring and Apprenticeship
Mentoring with Rhonda (and other team members)
I'm glad you are considering an apprenticeship
Following up on your permaculture design course education with guidance and support is a great way to learn, explore, and find your way forward.
I feel fortunate to have had an apprenticeship in education and practical work in site design and implementation after my own permaculture design course in 2005. In the years since then, I've learned a lot about mentoring and advising from people who are excellent at drawing out a person's personal gifts, dreams and passions. For this reason, I love to mentor and support other learners.
Be warned: An apprenticeship with Sheltering Hills Design is NOT one size fits all. It will require you to think, understand yourself better, and explore your edges diligently. Along the way, we believe you will become clearer about what you want and how you want to get there.
I look forward to meeting up with you and beginning this conversation.
- Rhonda Baird
Steps to begin
After you apply, we will sit down together to see how an apprenticeship might work for both of us and if we are a good fit.
After we've had time to reflect on our conversation, we will set up agreements about how we would like to work together including: what activities we will focus on, how long the apprenticeship will last, when we will evaluate the apprenticeship, and what next steps would look like.
When we reach the time for us to evaluate the experience, we will do a review and look at whether we wish to extend the apprenticeship and what next steps will look like.
Kinds of activities
Since mentoring and apprenticeship are about your unique learning journey, there is no one-size fits all solution. We talk about what you are interested in learning and exploring and match that with experiences and practices that fit our work.
- Working in the garden/forest garden
- Working with research and design on projects
- Supporting outreach and education projects
- Learning to facilitate groups
- Entrepreneurial skills and thinking
- Nature Connection skills
Is this paid?
Probably not from the beginning. In fact, Rhonda is often paid as an advisor and that might be appropriate in some situations. If there is opportunity for paid work along the way, we can income-share as part of our agreement after an initial period of learning.
What is an appropriate length of time?
For most apprenticeships, we work in three month increments and review our agreement at that time. This is long enough for a cycle to fit into a semester, over a summer, or into a part of a growing season.
Mentoring and apprenticeship are time intensive on our part. We will determine how many hours per week make sense given your circumstances, but it may only be a few hours per week.
Who will I work with?
Rhonda is the primary mentor for Sheltering Hills Design, though both Corbin and Maya may have input or work with you from time to time.
You may be working with other apprentices, design clients, students of courses, and former students from time to time.
Rhonda has been working in permaculture design since 2005. She brings a plethora of experiences from her previous work (case management, volunteer management, community organizing, etc.) to this. In addition, she is a field advisor for the Permaculture Institute of North America and the Regenerative Land Management program. She learned mentoring more from her nature connection and Tracker School experiences.
As a diploma holder through the Permaculture Institute of North America, apprenticeships are designed to contribute to diploma work for this institute (or others). Documentation of your work is a part of the experience.
Privacy and agreements
We take privacy very seriously throughout. We are careful not to reveal client names, addresses and personal information. As an apprentice, you would be expected to abide by this practice.
During the interview process, we will review basic peace-tending agreements about how we show up with each other, what to do around communication and agreement and what to do if conflict arises. This helps us to work together with more ease.
No experience is complete without reflection, learning and evaluation. This will be part of our experience whenever we reevaluate at the end of our term.
Have more questions regarding apprenticeship?
Our apprenticeships open in January and August each year. We look forward to exploring the possibility with you, but if you have more questions, no problem.