The aim of this essay is to evaluate my mentoring experiences. It will also discuss skills that I have developed and how that has impacted on my professional development. I intend to provide an action plan for my development of knowledge and skills as a mentor.
I have worked within a large primary school for ten years and probably for about the last five years have been mentoring more inexperienced teachers in an informal capacity. Murray (2001) in www.ttrb.ac.uk website defines this kind of mentoring as:
“The deliberate pairing of a more skilled or experienced person
with someone with less skill or experience with a mutually agreed
goal of having the ...view middle of the document...
I do feel that as a teacher already (albeit an inexperienced one) the NQT student has a clear idea of what is expected of her as a teacher through her training and I merely facilitate her development by setting targets, observations and acting as a sounding board for any advice or problems. An extract from Rhodes (2004) supports this idea:
“NQT induction tutors in schools need to be fully aware of
Induction arrangements, possess the skill and knowledge to
be able to make judgments against prescribed standards and
to be capable of providing effective support for the NQT.” (pg 1)
Overall this has been a good mentoring experience and has allowed me to develop my confidence as a new mentor. We have built up a good relationship and I feel fully supported in this role. I have been able to seek advice from more experienced colleagues and I know that there are people I can turn to for help and advice if needed.
When the PGCE student started her placement it was clear about what my role would be. Shea (1992) in Colley (2003) focuses on the specialness of the mentor, going above and beyond the already existing work role. Whilst Clutterbank (1991) in Rhodes (2004) believes that:
“A mixture of parent and peer, the mentor’s primary function is
to be a transitional figure in an individual’s development.
Mentoring includes coaching, facilitating, counselling and
Networking” (pg 26)
This has been the most difficult mentoring experience I have encountered yet. I knew that this was the PGCE student’s first placement and that she would be inexperienced, however I wasn’t expecting or had the time to give the level of support needed and this was a real challenge for me.
With mentoring 2 different students at differing stages of their career I have built up a range of skills. With regards to the NQT student I feel that I have built up good facilitating skills. I have helped my student to set realistic targets for development and I have encouraged her to take responsibility for her own development. Knowles (1980) in Rhodes (2004) supports this idea:
“Adults learn best when they are involved in diagnosing,
planning, implementing and evaluating their own learning.”
I feel it has also benefited me professionally as I have become more familiar with the core standards and so I have gained greater knowledge. It also made me think more reflectively of my own practises as a teacher.
I believe that part of my skills is that I am open and approachable and that enabled me to build up a good relationship with the NQT student. According to Flaherty (2005) the elements of the relationship are mutual trust, mutual respect and mutual freedom of expression. This relationship has built up in these areas over a period of time as we have got to know each other as individuals. We have our more formal meetings where targets are set and...