Following my appointment to the Aspiring Middle Leadership programme at our school, I was offered the opportunity to apply for a scholarship for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education with a focus on Mentoring & Leadership. Although I am still an early career teacher, having just recently finished my 2nd year, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop my own leadership skills and understanding of the mentoring process.
For PCTs particularly, the induction and mentoring process is vital in ensuring both the well-being and development of early career teachers. Not only this, but it is necessary for Senior Leaders to recognise the importance of providing the appropriate support and professional development for mentors in order for this approach to be embraced as the norm.
Many of the teachers who were undertaking the course were experienced teachers and mentors from a wide range of teaching contexts, including ECE, Primary, and Secondary sectors. Despite this, it was clear very early on that coming with a clean slate to the idea of Educative Mentoring would be both a challenge and an advantage.
The main challenge was that I had zero experience as a mentor but given that my own mentor is what I would consider a wonderful example of Educative Mentoring in action, I felt that this gave me some good insight into what it means to take this approach.
My research poster gives some insight into my own journey, including my rationale and approach to the inquiry process. My personal belief is that the learning conversation is where we have the perfect opportunity to develop the relational trust between mentor and mentee that is necessary to foster a collaborative and co-constructivist approach to mentoring that is the foundation for Educative Mentoring.
My journey is by no means over. In fact, it has only just begun. Not only have a gained insight into what it means to mentor others, but it has helped me gain insight into my own needs as a mentee.
English | Westlake Boys’ High School