It is part of the life of a business company to use coaching, counseling, or supervision to help their professionals to perform at the best of their abilities. In education this kind of support is rare and teachers tend to be assessed rather than helped to develop.
This course will welcome experienced teachers, department heads, and school management staff who wish to build a school culture where teachers collaborate, visit each other’s lessons for mutual learning and development. Mentors may work with beginner teachers in their induction period, with more experienced teachers new to the school, or with teachers going through a stressful phase in their career, like during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mentoring is not only beneficial for the mentees and adds to the professional standards of the institution, but also contributes to the professional wellbeing of the mentors themselves.
The course will equip participants with the basic principles and techniques of mentoring, and will also develop some skills necessary for building rapport, professional communication, classroom observation, active listening, and giving formative feedback tapping into coaching and counseling. Apart from input from the trainer, the sessions involve observing parts of lessons on video, short readings, role plays, and group discussions.
Participants have an overview of the mentor’s roles and responsibilities, and a clear understanding of how they can contribute to their school culture through mentoring. They will start developing their mentoring toolkit with documents they can use in their own school contexts, like checklists to follow or a planned framework within which mentors can function. They will also improve their skills for active listening, leading professional discussions, asking the right questions, opening up professional issues, inviting self-reflection, giving formative feedback, and helping their mentees to set up their own professional goals.
The course will help the participants to:
- Differentiate between mentoring and other forms of teacher support and supervision;
- Distinguish between class visits for support and observations for assessment;
- Design the structure of a post-lesson discussion;
- Formulate questions that help self-reflection and professional discussions and self-assessment;
- Demonstrate skills in active listening;
- Act out a mentorial from the perspective of a mentor, a mentee, or an observer;
- Differentiate between constructive, formative feedback and evaluative, summative feedback;
- Plan a mentoring process for a peer in their own school context.
The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the requests of the participants, and the trainer delivering the specific session. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion. If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance.
Day 1 – Coaching and mentoring for teachers: an introduction
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities
- Icebreaker activities, reflecting on career paths.
- Presentations of the participants’ school contexts, needs analysis.
- Basic principles of mentoring.
- Learning models, attitudes to change and change management.
Day 2 – Building trust
- Establishing rapport, building trust.
- Asking good questions.
- Active listening techniques.
- Self-awareness, self-assessment, the Johari window.
- Role plays of professional discussions.
Day 3 – Observation skills
- Class visits, lesson observations, and observation skills.
- Observation etiquette, observation focuses, and note-taking techniques.
- Dealing with feelings of success and failure.
- Highlighting success and laying down stepping stones.
Day 4 – Giving feedback
- Video class visits and lesson observations.
- Role plays of post-lesson discussions.
- Formative and summative feedback.
- The language of mentoring.
Day 5 – Mentoring skills
- Structure of a full mentorial (pre- and post-lesson discussion).
- Alternative mentoring scenarios (without class visits, peer-mentoring, etc.).
- Action planning for own context.
- Tools of professional development.
Day 6 – Excursion & course closure
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.