See yourself as a supportive but critical friend.
Get to know as much as is possible about your trainee and his/her work and the learners involved. Do this through short, planned meetings where there are set topics for discussion, review and/or action. Try to negotiate that you will drop in during your trainee’s teaching for a short time unannounced, and use this to get a feel of what is happening in that session and to ask your trainee questions about what was happening. When and if asked, observe for longer and give verbal feedback.
So we ask you to:
Understand the trainee’s teaching: know the curriculum, have experience of the learners and their level.
Decide on their experience level: you could have a mentee who has been teaching for several years; s/he will need a different level and type of support to the mentee who has never taught before.
Develop a relationship with the trainee so you are aware of their individual needs. Ask to see their Individual Learning Plan so you are aware of any barriers to learning they may have.
Consider the teaching the trainee has to do in any one week to make a judgement about the relative demands of each group and the challenge your trainee is facing. Greater support will be needed where the trainee has a heavy work load.
Discuss with the trainee whether the following are appropriate, relevant, and of good quality:
- the scheme of work /ILPs
- the lesson planning
- resources to be used
- work done by their learners
- their marking of learners’ work
- moderation of work (if appropriate)
Look at your trainee’s paperwork or course management files. Trainees will benefit from developing good organisational skills which prevent problems building up later.
Develop your trainee’s ability to self-evaluate:
- discuss sessions taught which have gone well and those which have not (even if you were not there)
- help trainees to make connections between the causes of good and bad sessions
- follow this up with a discussion about the other ways in which this might have been done
- assist with action planning
Further the trainee’s understanding of their learners’ needs:
- discuss differentiation for specific students
- enable the trainee to get the learner’s perspective on their teaching
Push forward your trainee’s professional development by:
- encouraging the trainee to widen his or her experience of teaching: different levels, groups, contexts
- identifying areas for development
- planning together a strategy to help
- reviewing success in the above
- action planning future development in small ways and by setting long-term targets.