Your mentor is here to guide and support you throughout your NQT year, but to ensure your dynamic is as effective as possible try some of these simple, yet very helpful, tasks…
1. Keep an up-to-date record
After your weekly mentor meeting, write up a brief set of notes on what you’ve discussed. You will be able to use them to start off next week’s meeting smoothly. In addition, if you collect these sets of records over the year, they act as a fantastic resource and evidence that you have met several of the Teacher Standards.
2. Know the expected standard
Print off and laminate two copies of the Teacher Standards, keeping them with you during your mentor meetings. Not only will they be helpful for discussions, but will also save your mentor from having to scrabble around looking for their copy of the Standards or having to search for them online.
3. Take time to reflect
Review your own progress on a regular basis. Every four weeks would be a good idea. When you do this, take the Teacher Standards and think about which areas you are doing well in, and which still need work and improvements. You can then share the results you observed with your mentor, perhaps later using them as the basis of discussions or joint reflections.
4. Plan ahead
When you know your mentor is going to be observing you, drop them an email before the session, indicating what you would like them to focus on and why. Try breaking this down into a series of three targeted questions – this will make observations simpler for your mentor, and will create a great chance for the two of you to engage in fruitful discussions afterwards.
5. Be prepared
Have all the necessary materials ready for your mentor when they come to observe you. You might need to prepare: an observation pro-forma, Teacher Standards checklist, lesson plan, copy of the PowerPoint or IWB slides, seating plan, data context sheet, copies of any resources you will be using, and so on.
Mike Gershon is a teacher trainer and author of Growth Mindset Pocketbook