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School Centres for Teaching Excellence Master Class: Mentoring 16 September 2011
Context for new directions in mentoringpre-service teachers Victorian 2005 Parliamentary Inquiry into the Suitability of Pre-Service Teacher Training conclusion: pre-service teachers need to be immersed in learning environments to understand the various roles and responsibilities associated with teaching Research indicates mentors have a key role in pre-service teacher training programs: Supervise graduated responsibilities of PSTs to build their skills and confidence Build the PST’s subject specific pedagogy skills and skills of lesson preparation and class management Reflect on and talk about their practice, collaborate and commit to their own improvement DEECD commitment to building a quality education workforce Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership: Mentoring for First Time Principals Teacher Mentor Support Program: Beginning Teachers
Mentors in SCTEs facilitate the integration of theory and practice for pre-service teachers Model effective teaching practice Observe PST teaching and provide frequent, structured feedback Assist with planning and implementing group/ individual learning experiences Assist with implementing assessment strategies and using assessment data to inform teaching Provide information about the school and specific learning needs of students Encourage participation in school events and integration into the wider school community Document growth of PST and contribute to assessment of PST
Building and maintaining quality mentor - mentee relationships A/Prof Bill Eckersley Education Victoria University
Mentoring! I’d like you to meet my student teacher.
Roles of a mentor • Individually, write down the roles (responsibilities) you do as a mentor. • In pairs, identify roles (responsibilities) that are common to both of you.
Developmental Mentoring A developmental model suggests that the mentor needs to be able to adopt the various roles of: • coach • counsellor • guardian • networker • facilitator • teacher • guide • protector • supporter • trouble-shooter • scaffolder • door opener
Mentoring Clutterbuck, 1998. Learning alliances: Tapping into talent
Mentoring! First, you have to get their attention!
Instead of being mentor driven, with the mentor taking full responsibility for the mentee’s learning, the mentee learns to share responsibility for the learning setting, priorities, learning and resources and becomes increasingly self-directed. When the learner is not ready to assume that degree of responsibility, the mentor nurtures and develops the mentee’s capacity for self-direction over the course of the relationship. As the learning relationship evolves, the mentoring partners share the accountability and responsibility for achieving a mentee’s learning goals. (Zachary, 2000) Dependent..............Independent............Interdependent
Stages of the mentoring relationship: • Getting acquainted and sharing common interests, values and goals • Communicating expectations, agreeing on procedures and establishing the patterns of interaction • Exploring needs and fulfilling objectives • Redefining the relationship as a colleague, peer and friend
Evolution of the Mentoring Relationship R: Rapport-building is about developing trust and comfort with each other D: Direction-setting is about setting goals for the relationship. Goals may (usually will) evolve with the relationship P: Progress-making is the most intensive stage, where experimentation and learning proceed rapidly M: Maturation when the relationship becomes more mutual in terms of learning and support. The mentee gradually becomes more and more self-reliant C: Close down is when the formal relationship ends. In most successful mentoring relationships there is an informal continuity on an equal basis.
Mentoring! And then, of course, there’s the possibility of being just the slightest bit too organised!
Strengthening the profession Barbara Hadlow Koonung Secondary College Eastern Metropolitan Region
Strengthening the Profession Provides the mentee: Increased skills and knowledge A supportive environment in which successes and failures can be evaluated in a non-confrontational manner A powerful learning tool to acquire competencies and professional experience Networking opportunities Development of professional skills and self confidence Recognition and satisfaction Empowerment Encourages different perspectives and attitudes to one’s work Develops greater appreciation of complexities
Strengthening the Profession Provides the mentor: Opportunities to test new ideas Renewed enthusiasm for their role Higher level recognition of their worth and skills through encouragement to take on this mentoring role Challenging discussions with people who have fresh perspectives Satisfaction from contributing to mentees development Opportunities to reflect on and articulate their role and their practice Developing a deeper awareness of their own behaviour Improved interpersonal skills in counselling, listening, modelling and leading Improved ability to share experience and knowledge
Mentoring in a team teaching context Dr Craig Deed, La Trobe University Sue Pollard, Weeroona Secondary College Loddon Mallee Region
Loddon Mallee SCTE overview • 4 X 7-10 secondary schools • 25 (55 - 2012) PSTs 2-day a week placement for 25 days • Multi-disciplinary PST teams placed in open-plan learning neighbourhoods • Evolving team-teaching and ‘new’ teaching & learning strategies • Focus on integration of university- and school-learning
Our challenge • Mentor and PST must team-teach within a broader learning-team environment • Shared responsibility for communication, planning, delivery and review • Need to change the culture of school-based placement
Mentor perspective on challenge • Clarification of mentor role in SCTE program • Skills related to communication and planning with PSTs • More experience in teaching in new flexible learning spaces • Skills regarding connecting pre-service teachers to a class when multiple classes are running in the same space • New mentor protocols for team teaching environments
PST perspective on challenge: need effective communication and flexibility to adapt plans • “There is a disconnect with the rest of the school week… its not practical to plan too far ahead, you need to be able to adapt quickly” Jon, WSC • “If you haven’t come in until Thurs/Fri you haven’t seen the kids and don’t know how far they have got or what they have done.” Georgie, WSC
Student perspective on challenge Advantages of having a mentor and PST teaching team? “We got to know them a lot better and they got to know us. It was a chance to see a different teaching style and method” C “We got to know him better … and learn his teaching method which was different” T
Student perspective on challenge Disadvantages of having a mentor and PST teaching team? “With two teachers swapping around, it was a bit jumbled up sometimes – like the order of the lessons” T
Question • Are you experiencing similar challenges related to mentors and PSTs team-teaching?
Proposed solution (1) • Integrated development (university and school) of practical teaching knowledge • Working in flexible learning spaces • Working in a team • Lesson planning and delivery models, including adaptation and differentiation (data-driven)
Proposed solution (2) • Defining mentoring in a complex context • Expectations • Team-teaching as cultural change • Expert-mentors in each school • SCTE development of mentor knowledge and skills • Early identification of mentors • Local delivery of training and monitoring of mentors • Pre-placement planning processes
Proposed solution (3) • Strategies on effective feedback and structuring reflective conversation • Clear advice on PST assessment
Proposed solution (4) • Team-based communication, planning and review strategies • ‘Bounded-flexibility’ • Lack of time for face-to-face • Use of social media • Online collaboration
Questions • What suggestions do you have for: • Team-based planning, communication and review strategies? • Defining mentoring in new contexts? • Mentoring models in new contexts?
Mentor/mentee conversations can be enhanced by use of current reference points and frameworks such as: VELS – Standards and Progression Points e5 Instructional Model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate Assessment data (e.g.): Teacher Judgements against the VELS, NAPLAN, On Demand Testing, Mathematics Online Interview, English Online Interview, etc Key characteristics of Effective Numeracy Teaching (P-6) / (7 - 10) Key characteristics of Effective Literacy Teaching (P-6) / (7 - 10) Effective Schools Model English / Mathematics / Science / ESL Developmental Continua Principles of Learning and Teaching (PoLT) AITSL National Graduate Teacher Standards VIT Standards for Graduating Teachers
Effective conversations can be supported by ‘norms’ of collaboration for individuals and for groups Pausing to allow time for thought Paraphrasing to ensure deep listening Putting inquiry at the center to reveal and extend thinking Probing to clarify Placing ideas on the table / placing information and perceptions before the group Paying attention to self and others to monitor our ways of working Presuming positive intentions to support a non-judgmental atmosphere
Effective mentors demonstrate particular characteristics Have experience as educators Will model current and effective teaching practice Understand the purpose and content of a practicum Will allow a PST to take reasonable risks and will support graduated teaching responsibility Are effective communicators and will provide frequent verbal and written feedback Are enthusiastic, patient, flexible, organised, problem-solvers Are seen by others as leaders in education Believe mentoring is an opportunity for personal professional growth
What are the professional learning needs of mentors? • The skills, knowledge and understandings I need to strengthen in order to be a more effective mentor • The factors that would help me build my mentoring skills, knowledge and understandings