Developing teachers through mentorship programs

11th April 2020

Looking to improve your knowledge or help others in their teaching practice?

#EduMentoring enables trainees, NQT’s, students and teachers to be paired with more experienced teachers, SLT, and headteachers for monitorships, coaching, guidance, support and friendship.

The purpose of this program is intended to tap into the existing knowledge, skills, and experience of experienced teachers and transfer these skills to newer or less experienced teachers in order to advance their careers. It can help the mentee develop new skills and form a larger network.

This idea came about through the generosity of teachers and headteachers who helped me navigate my second year of a BA Primary Ed. degree, offering me placements in their school to help me with research and practice-based learning.

Looking ahead to my own career prospect and taking an interest in how new teachers are supported, I attended a discussion organised by Leeds Beckett University. ‘How can we best support early career teachers? Can collaboration, a social life and autonomy make a difference?’ It was evident that there were some serious issues to be grappled with when it came to on site early career support and also highlighted to me, the importance of effective mentoring.

Being fortunate enough to have a network of supporters, I realised that this could be helpful to others in a similar position to me, those needing a helping hand but not sure where to begin. So I tweeted the idea of organising mentorship. The response to my tweet was overwhelming and the generosity of people coming forward to offer support was incredible . Kindness from others in reaching out to help me organise this was also much welcome. I quickly pounced on the opportunity and before long Aaron Berry went to work, formatting spreadsheets, collating responses and devising strategies to work out best matches.

This is an informal program with trust at the heart of any relationship, just like any other and we just want to make it clear that mentors or mentees will not be imposed with any pressure in their respective roles. As a lot of people are likely to be taking time out as more pressing matters persist, please be patient if you have not heard from your partner, or you haven’t been getting quite the communication that you expect. Please wait until we all come out the other end before becoming doubtful whether this is working for you. 

We would like to spread this initiative as far and wide as possible so that many people benefit from this as possible. It also means we have a diverse range of skills, subjects, and contexts represented enabling better matching.

Aaron has devised this form to get you started.  Please let us know if you have any queries. Don't forget to share your experience by using #EduMentoring.