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					Mentoring: Professional Growth
through Helping Beginning
Barbara Allan and Jane Ewens
 Workshop Outline

This workshop will explore:
• The purpose and roles of mentor teachers
• Maximizing professional development opportunities for
  leadership for experienced teachers
• The qualities and skills of effective mentoring
• Organizational and personality issues.
Who is a mentor?

   “experienced teachers who have mastered their craft
   and who are dedicated to promoting excellence in the
   teaching profession. …. Guide, role model, sponsor,
   counselor, coach, resource, colleague.”
(Jonson, 2008)

   In what contexts or roles may/do you have the
   opportunity to be a mentor?
Difference between mentoring and
appraisal/assessment roles:
 Mentoring                     Evaluating

 is collegial                  is hierarchical
 is on-going                   visits are set by policy
 develops self-reliance        judges performance
 keeps data confidential       files data and makes it
 uses data to reflect          available
 value judgments are made by   uses data to judge
 the teacher                   judgments are made by the
Responsibilities of a Mentor

•   Meet regularly with mentee, formally and informally
•   Guide mentee through daily operation of centre
•   Arrange mentee to visit different settings
•   Demonstrate practice
•   Observe mentee teaching and provide feedback
•   Role model all aspects of professionalism including being a learner
•   Develop your skills as a mentor and teacher
•   Support and counsel, provide perspective when needed

Is not a judge or evaluator, but a guide

    Relationship needs to be one built on common experience, trust, and a non-
                                  judgmental stance.
Qualities and skills of
effective mentors
A skillful teacher (5yrs plus)
Effective pedagogy and up to date curriculum
Able to model, provide feedback, challenge, and model
reflective thinking
Able to transmit effective teaching strategies
Have thorough command of curriculum
Good listener & patient
Able to communicate openly with beginning teacher
Sensitive to needs of beginner
Understand effective teaching results from more than one style
Careful not to be overly judgmental
Sense of humour
Motivating and willing to be motivated
• Key to success is being non-judgmental.
   – when mentee teachers believe they are not being
     judged they are willing to share ideas, take risks, and
     develop their skills to the fullest.
Mentor rewards

Strengthening and pride in the profession
Professional sharing
Heightened prestige
Expanded career role
Helping novice grow
Cutting edge training
Self-examination and confidence growth
(Jonson, 2008, p.161 and others)
Mentoring Continuum

Information sharing   Reflection and          Critique and co-
and modeling          shifting responsibility construction
Relationship building
Use informal opportunities
The first meeting - ensure your own preparation is done so
  you have time available should help be required.
Identify mentee’s biggest short-term concerns and set time
  to address together.
Ensure you are thoroughly familiar with relevant course
  requirements e.g. home tasks, readings, discussion points,
  or Registered Teacher criteria, and when assessor coming.
Set up a contract including roles and responsibilities,
  timeframes, goals, recording method, communication,
  confidentiality and privacy, & conflict resolution
Effective Feedback
• Planned
• Specific & focused
• Evidence based & non-judgmental
• Credible
• Credit based & strengths focused
• Encourages mentee input – is learner
• Explores alternatives, rather than gives
•Provides guidance and structure
 Feedback Techniques

Sit side by side
Begin with mentee recollection
Keep to plan
Give mentee notes
Focus on behaviour not person
Share ideas rather than give advice
Give only as much feedback as they can use
Provide feedback valuable to receiver not giver
“Cognitive coaching model”
Traps for young players
Pitfalls                    Mitigations
Overextending or lack of time management, frank discussion,
confidence re giving     preparation, use of technology, share
enough or right “stuff”  responsibility
Not clarifying roles and    clarify, familiarize with documentation, set
responsibilities first up   action plan and contract
Assuming too much           Treat as competent and capable, check policy,
responsibility for the      seek advice, set boundaries and expectations
mentee who is               and stick to them, listen carefully and actively,
untrained or unwilling      avoid doing all the talking, and encourage
                            reciprocal learning relationship
Personality clashes,        careful matching, spend time building trusting
one-sided relationships     relationship
Being reactive rather       Ensure ready availability – e.g. same centre;
than proactive              plan regular meetings with goals; stick to your
Assuming intent             Check it out, seek information
Why should management invest in
Reinforces and fosters professional development; both for the mentors
   and the mentees
Positively impacts child learning outcomes, and the teaching practice of
   the whole school (Pavia et al 2003)
Builds leadership capacity within the centre by developing the intellectual
   and professional capacity of its staff (Timperley et al 2007 p193)
Teaching practice improves through integrating new learning
Promotes a climate of collegial teacher learning within the centre
Beneficial for teachers at all stages in their career
Increases staff retention
  How can management support?

• Provide non-contact time for mentoring, individual
  research and professional development
• Fund attendance at courses specific to the mentoring role
• Support attendance at professional networks including on-
  line possibilities
• Provide public recognition of mentoring role
• Provide peer-coaching with experienced mentor teacher
Playing “cupid”

Develop criteria which should take into consideration:
• Physical proximity
• Same or close child-age group
• Same or related subject/research interest
• Common lunch break time
• Similar or complementary personality
• Shared educational philosophy – point of connection
A good teacher of children is not necessarily a good
  teacher of adults. If pairing emerges as not serving
  needs of mentee then ensure a system is in place for
  making new pairing without placing blame.

“never lose sight of the focus: to provide beginning
  teachers with the most help possible to enable them
  to make a transition to the professional world during
  their first years on the job.” (Jonson, 2008, p.29)
Knee to knee

Influences and Active Listening

Jonson, K. F. (2008). Being an effective mentor: how to help
  beginning teachers succeed. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks,
  California: Sage.
Katz, L. (1977). Talks with teachers. Washington, DC:
  National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Pavia, L., Nissen, H., Hawkins, C., Monroe, M. E., and Filimon-
  Demyen, D. (2003). Mentoring early childhood
  professionals. Journal of Research in Childhood Education
  17(2), p.250-260.
Timperley, et al (2007). [Best Evidence Synthesis]

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