It is important that roles and relationships between the student and mentor are clearly set out.
Depending on the number of trainee teachers in the school there may be a coordinating mentor who works closely with the class teacher to ensure that the trainee receives an appropriate training in whichever class they are placed.
The mentor will also be responsible for liaising with the higher education institution responsible for the trainee. The role of the coordinating mentor is to ensure the trainee teacher receives:
- an appropriate institutional induction
- support from the class teacher
- an experience of the whole curriculum
- access to professional activities outside the classroom e.g. pastoral work, staff meetings including INSET, parentsí evenings and extra curricular activities
- observations and time for feedback, helping them to become more reflective
- the opportunities to observe other teachers
- opportunities to meet and discuss with other professionals e.g. SENCO, EAL coordinator, teaching assistants
- monitoring and assessment of the his/her performance against the standards contained in Qualifying to Teach
- support mechanisms
- coordination of the completion of any reports on the his/her progress.
The class teacher has several important roles in fostering the development of the trainee teacher. These include:
- modelling effective teaching and learning strategies and discussing these with the trainee teacher
- discussing medium and short-term planning and advising on its suitability
- observing the trainee teacher and giving prompt, constructive feedback on lessons to help them focus on important elements
- a discussion of professional issues with the trainee teacher (e.g. pastoral care, class management, working with parents
- a discussion of the trainee teacherís progress
- adopt a professional approach to all aspects of their school experience
- attend regularly and punctually
- familiarise themselves with institutional policies and procedures and adhere to them
- conform to appropriate professional standards of dress and demeanour
- be available to discuss progress with relevant school staff and engage constructively with the feedback offered
- seek to take a full and active part in the wider aspect of a teacherís role
- observe other teachers and analyse their methods, strategies and tactics
- discuss these experiences and gradually develop their own theories in learning and teaching with the aid of educational research and theory.
(Adapted from Kingston University Primary Partnership Handbook)
Help and support
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