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1.a) What’s the job of a subject mentor?

He or she is a critical friend, a role model for a new teacher, a subject specific coach, someone who can facilitate, make links to useful other people and arrange for things to happen because they know the ropes. S/he will also make friendly judgements on what the trainee teacher is doing and saying, and how they are acting and will be able to give some helpful feedback on this to the trainee without totally discouraging them.

You are not alone in working with your trainee; it is a team effort. The Programme Manager at the University or college will be your link to the programme itself. They may also be the observer who visits your trainee or there may be another person whose role is to observe. Together you will guide your trainee*. Make sure you know how to contact the course’s Programme Manager or the Course Tutor; it is going to be important to keep in touch with the teacher training team as your trainee moves through the programme.

* You will find that the word ‘trainee’ is used throughout to mean the trainee teacher; this works better than using the word ‘student’ which can become confused with the learners the trainee is teaching.

1.b) What makes a good mentor?