My mentor was extremely supportive and gave clear, simple feedback that I felt capable of discussing with her and improving on quickly. I felt confident in the classroom with her presence and supported if things didn't work out how I had hoped. She was able to give clear examples of how to work towards certain standards and was able to model these and show me examples of her work, and recommend specific teachers to observe (e.g. if she was aware of a teacher with particularly strong questioning skills/use of AfL). - UEA Trainee
The Core Content Framework
The ITT Core content Framework (2019)1 sets out two types of content:
Learn that… (critical engagement with evidence and research)
Learn how to... (entitlement for trainees to practise and learn from expert colleagues as they apply their knowledge and understanding of the evidence in the classroom)
The “learn how to” will be supported by:
- Discussing and analysing with expert colleagues, reflecting on what makes an approach successful or not, and how it might be integrated into the trainees’ own practice.
- Observing how expert colleagues… and deconstruct this approach
- Practising (rehearse and refine particular approaches)
- Receiving clear, consistent and effective mentoring (structured feedback to provide a structured process to improve trainees’ practice)
As well as offering practical and emotional support, the role of the mentor is to support trainees in bridging the foundational knowledge and skills they have developed in the university-based part of their training and/or in their placement school professional development sessions with their practice, as they learn to apply their knowledge and understanding in the classroom.
Supporting trainees’ journey towards meeting the Teacher Standards also requires the mentor to guide them towards the autonomy that will be needed in their NQT year. To achieve this, the mentor-trainee relationship will move, often tentatively, forward and backward, along the mentoring-coaching continuum, as the trainee is moving through the phases of their developmental journey as a reflective practitioner.
I had 2 mentors and they were both fantastic in their own ways. They made sure to challenge me, especially in the mentor meetings where we always made sure my goals were achievable but by no means easy. They also both dedicated a lot of time to giving me feedback after every lesson which I really appreciated. They saw me as my own person rather than someone who should teach like they do, and I felt their advice was so beneficial. - UEA Trainee