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Factors to consider in the relationship

To evaluate whether your mentoring relationship is working it might be useful to consider these factors:

The Role of the Mentor

  • A model
  • A coach focusing on specific learning skills and strategies
  • A critical friend helping and encouraging the student teacher
  • A facilitator linking with their teachers, managers and departments
  • An assessor

What makes a good mentor?

  • Listening skills
  • Being welcoming, warm and accepting
  • Giving space and encouragement
  • Putting oneself in the mentee’s place
  • Giving constructive feedback
  • Challenging thinking
  • In the early stages offering more advice and guidance but then moving towards peer mentoring as the student teacher gains in confidence and experience

The Process of Mentoring

Mentoring works best

  • when mentors and mentees are clear about the purpose and structure of mentoring within their organisation
  • when it’s based on a Reflective Practitioner model
  • when mentors and mentees stress the developmental approach rather than an assessment model. The former encourages disclosure and experimentation
  • Mentees are more likely to ask for support if mentors ‘have the time’ (findings from ACER 2004 - summarised by Jayne Hedges 2009)

What’s in it for me?

  • Development of transferable mentoring and interpersonal skills
  • A mutually beneficial process – mentors also learn from mentees
  • Enhanced CV