You might like to use the Mentoring resources below to prompt reflection on how your work with beginning teachers can have a positive impact on your own development. They may be useful to explain how valuable your role is to senior leaders when you are going through an annual review process (or similar). While we use the term ‘Mentor’ for a specific role within the Exeter model, your PST role is a ‘mentoring’ one in the wider sense, so things like the Mentor standards do apply to you!
If you’re involved in organising CPD events, Ruth, Debra and I (or other Research Centre members) are often able to help – either by offering workshops or presentations, or by recommending other excellent speakers, so please do get in touch.
If you’re interested in accredited professional development, do have a look at our range of MA Education options which are designed to be studied alongside full time teaching: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/education/educationma/
Effective Mentors (CUREE Guidance)
Being a PST is a highly skilled ‘mentoring’ role, and can demonstrate leadership strengths which may be useful for career progression, particularly as research into mentoring which highlights the positive whole school impact of creating a culture of collaboration, reflection, and continuing development for staff (Lord, P., Atkinson, M., & Mitchell, H. (2008). Mentoring and coaching for professionals: A study of the research evidence. Variations, 1(4)).
The CUREE guidance outlines the skills required of effective mentors, and you might like to refer to these when reflecting on how your work as a PST is developing your own skills and expertise.
1.relate sensitively to learners and work through agreed processes to build trust and confidence
2. model expertise in practice or through conversation
3. relate guidance to evidence from practice and research
4. broker access to a range of opportunities to address the different goals of the professional learner
5. observe, analyse and reflect upon professional practice and make this explicit
6. provide information and feedback that enables learning from mistakes and success
7. build a learner’s control over their professional learning
8. use open questions to raise awareness, explore beliefs, develop plans, understand consequences and explore and commit to solutions
9. listen actively:
-accommodating and valuing silence
-concentrating on what’s actually being said
-using affirming body language to signal attention
-replaying what’s been said using some of the same words to reinforce, value and reframe thinking
- relate practice to assessment and accreditation frameworks.