Assistant teacher course/Teachers' handbook/Mentoring programs
Mentoring[edit | edit source]
Suggested mentoring programs are a voluntary mentoring program for junior mentors in grade eight and nine   and a mandatory mentoring program for mentors in high school.  A further mentoring program with adult mentors is also recommended. This chapter focuses on organizational issues of school-based mentoring programs for junior mentors, high school mentors and adult mentors.
One could take the view that schools make or may appear to make a promise they can't keep. The promise schools may appear to make to parents is that they take care of the education of children and adolescents in all aspects and without bias. Where schools may be severely lacking (possibly without drawing attention to the fact) is socialization. Twenty to thirty pupils in a class without further organization but a subject teacher holding a lesson do not constitute a contribution to socialization but sometimes the opposite, because the role model of young pupils is frequently detrimental. The beneficial effects of mentoring for the mentor can help to close this gap, especially in combination with an assistant teacher effort as the preliminary stage. The offer of preparing for a voluntary educational year could be seen as a superior goal and further motivation for both, mentoring program and assistant teacher effort.
Coopetition[edit | edit source]
Coopetition inspired by the competition between rivaling football teams can help to boost mentoring efforts. It may be advisable for different mentoring organizations to have their own football teams and to use sports as a motivating group experience. (Thus a football team alone, without a mentoring effort, could be rationalized to be a second step without the first step.)
Mentoring and teachers[edit | edit source]
Mentoring assistant teachers[edit | edit source]
A goal that can be set for a group of assistant teachers is to devise a mentoring program for assistant teacher trainees. A mentoring program for assistant teachers can include mentoring inside the classroom and outside the classroom and can also address issues of qualification and disqualification.
Teachers as mentors for assistant teachers[edit | edit source]
At the request of an assistant teacher group teachers can also mentor assistant teacher trainees. The assistant teacher trainees should fit into the mentoring scheme described in the section Teachers as mentors for pupils.
Older pupils as mentors for assistant teachers[edit | edit source]
Older pupils can also be assigned as mentors to assistant teachers. An advantage of older pupils (in comparison to teachers) as mentors for assistant teachers is that mentoring inside the classroom is possible with older pupils and that (in comparison with peers) the mentors have more experience as assistant teachers.
Teachers as mentors for pupils[edit | edit source]
There are two distinct approaches to mentoring for teachers: A teacher can offer support and guidance as an advisory teacher within a learning project or learning context or he can become a personal mentor for individual pupils. The scientific evaluation of the self-study semester in Zürich found that the changed role of the teacher during the self-study semester created a challenge for the participating teachers and required the teachers to reflect on their role and to learn new ways of interacting with pupils. The changed roles of a teacher as advisory teacher and as personal mentor could motivate to make both approaches part of the work experience of teachers. In part the beneficial effect of mentoring is on the side of the teachers because the more personal communication can further mutual understanding, also the understanding of the adult for the adolescent. A beneficial effect of being advisory teacher for a learning project is better insight into learning processes and learning behaviors of individual pupils. A school will not be able to provide teachers as mentors for all pupils but only for a small group. It is recommended to select pupils with very good, average and very poor academic aptitude as protégés for all teachers (but not in triplets with that exact composition), in order to allow teachers reliably to experience differences in the individual needs and personality of the pupils, but not to represent pupils proportionally (which would favor the average pupil instead of the two groups that have more use for individual guidance). An intended psychological effect is to counter a possible classroom perspective of a teacher, where some pupils may easily fit into superficial categories.
Mentoring program design and management[edit | edit source]
The steps of designing and managing a mentoring program are described in "Elements of Effective Practice". Smaller school-based mentoring programs may also be able to derive good ideas from the professional approach.
References[edit | edit source]
Literature[edit | edit source]
- Elements of Effective Practice Tool Kit: How to Build A Successful Mentoring Program Using the Elements of Effective Practice (PDF)
External links[edit | edit source]
- Mentoring Leadership and Resource Network Home Page - A network that supports mentoring and induction of new teachers.
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