Being a good ITT mentor can be challenging as we all, as teachers, have 100 things to do and this just adds up to our workload. However, being a mentor can be a great experience too!
The key to sucess is to be VERY organised!
Once you get the information from the training provider, you can do the following:
– Create a timetable that is suitable and which includes their two main languages and different year groups. Do not forget too add your 1 hour weekly meeting!
– Explain to your mentee how things work in the department in terms of staff, teaching and learning, entry and exit routines and important policies. Also, explain very significant aspects such as safeguarding, SEND, etc. They always get training on this but it is better if you also comment on these aspects…
– Give them access to the ‘schemes of learning’ and explain how they work so that it is all very clear from the beginning as well as showing them any important documents and folder on the drive.
– Talk about how observations are going to work and ensure you save time to give them feedback and set the next steps… Give them enough time to ‘fix’ things!
– Go and observe your mentee in different lessons, even if it isn’t expected, just to get a general feel of how they are doing. This way, the feeling is more real!
– When giving feedback, be ready to ‘model’ certain explanations or tasks if needed…
– Have an ‘agenda’ ready for your weekly meetings so that these can be as productive as possible.
– Involve your mentee in the wider areas of the school such as enrichments, parents and open evenings. They don’t have to stay the whole evening but they can take part to get experience.
And the most important thing… Establish a positive working relationship! Your mentee will always come to you when there is a problem and you are going to see them a lot so it is much easier if you work on this relationship from day 1!
I have been a mentor for more than 8 years and I still love it! It is soooo rewarding!!! This year I have an ECT 1 (he was my ITT last year) and I am really enjoying it.
Hope this post helps you to keep in mind some of the main things when being a mentor!