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Facilitating Learning in Professional Experience: Mentoring for Success Module 2-The Role of the Mentor Teacher.

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Presentation on theme: "Facilitating Learning in Professional Experience: Mentoring for Success Module 2-The Role of the Mentor Teacher."— Presentation transcript:

1 Facilitating Learning in Professional Experience: Mentoring for Success Module 2-The Role of the Mentor Teacher

2 This module contains: An overview of the role of the Mentor Teacher Strategies to assist Mentor Teachers identify and evaluate the strengths of their practice and for their ongoing professional growth Please note that in the following part of the program for expediency the following titles will be abbreviated: Mentor Teachers - MTs Preservice Teachers - PSTs an introduction

3 Mentoring is a relationship where a person who has more experience in a particular area of expertise may teach, coach, tutor of support another person to learn and grow (Parkinson & ByWaters 2000) (cited in UniSA Study Guide 2009) what is mentoring?

4 Ideally, the Mentor Teacher is a competent professional who wants to help and act as a guide or adviser to them. the mentor The mentor teacher is: a challenger a teacher and coach a role model approachable an encourager a receptive listener a trusted adviser

5 Let’s set the scene by considering what some current Mentor Teachers say about their role: setting the scene

6 Mentoring is rewarding, energising and inspiring. I was fortunate to have a brilliant Mentor Teacher so I wanted to give something back by mentoring Preservice Teachers. Ester Miller Heathfield Primary School Mentoring is a great experience and the benefits outweigh the challenges of which there are many....friendships and mentoring relationships can continue after the placement finishes. Everyone should give it a go. Karen Inwood St John’s Grammar The monitoring process helps teachers to stay in teaching longer by providing a solid foundation. (in response to that fact that many teachers leaving teaching within 5 years of graduating.) Janette Collville Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College With permission of contributors. Appeared in Teachers Registration Board, Registration Matters Newsletter December 2009 mentor teachers

7 Or as one mentor teacher recently shared with the university mentor: ‘Having Mark (PST) here makes me a better teacher. I have to examine my own practice in order to assist him become the best teacher he can be at this stage of his development.’ Anonymous mentor teachers

8 Listen to the teachers from Alberton Primary School talk about why they are MTs. video (Click on the video to view)

9 Refer to the MPI (Mentoring Profile Inventory) you were asked to complete online at the end of the last session. What motivates you and what are the challenges? Share your results in the Module 2 blogModule 2 blog activity 1

10 ‘....most adults can identify a person who, at some time in their life, had a significant and positive impact on them. Mentors can be friends, relatives, co-workers, teachers, as well as historic or contemporary personalities. Most often, a mentor is a more experienced or older person who acts as a role model, challenger, guide or cheerleader. Mentoring: ‘the gift of flight for your soul.’ (Peer Resources http://www.islandnet.com/~rcarr/mentor.html )http://www.islandnet.com/~rcarr/mentor.html who are mentors?

11 Think of a time when you have been mentored either formally or informally. What where the qualities of your mentor? How did they make you feel? How did their influence change your practice or indeed your life! Setup a private blog to share your thoughts on these questions with your facilitator. activity 2

12 . Three common premises held about the role of the MT as explored in the article referenced for this module, Bradbury and Koballa examined the relationship expectations of 6 MTs and their PSTs and found the following 3 perceptions most commonly held by both MTs and PSTs:Bradbury and Koballa The most commonly held perception was that of the PST as an apprentice. ‘The mentor acts as a guide or leader who knows best and attempts to share practical knowledge. The mentor teacher demonstrates or gives specific advice about what to do in a specific situation and the apprentice tries to imitate the mentor or implement the advice given.’ The PST may come to the MT with a problem and be provided with an easily implemented solution A second common perception is that of the mentor as a moral supporter. ‘ The mentor acts as an advocate who provides counselling support and encouragement...in this type of relationship a tight bond may form between the mentor and the preservice teacher leading to a close personal relationship.’ The personal needs of the PST and building a trusting friendship rather than their teaching practices is the focus role of mentor teacher

13 . The third most commonly held perception is that MT and PST conceive their relationship as a collaborative partnership. ‘Both members are regarded as sources of knowledge that can contribute to the learning that occurs within the context of the relationship. They can discuss and reflect on practice together’. Each partner brings ideas that are discussed with each member supplying important contributions and sharing the workload. (Abell et al, 1995) role of mentor teacher continued...

14 In your experience as a MT what are the advantages and dilemmas that may arise when putting these perceptions into practice? Choose one of the following to present your argument in the Module 2 blog.Module 2 blog 1.The MT acts as the authority figure in the relationship. 2.The MT gives priority to the relationship over the learning of the PST. 3.The MT perceives the relationship as a collaborative partnership where parameters are clear and mutual learning is the outcome for both. Think back to what the MTs from Alberton said about their perception of their role. activity 3

15 It seems then that the art of mentoring is the ability to be able to assist another to identify what their true potential is and then to set them on a course to achieve it, supporting them and challenging them through the highs and the lows of the journey, and knowing instinctively what is needed at just the right time and acknowledging that you are both learners in the process. art of mentoring

16 Introduction to Scenario: The following scenario is based on the recommended reading, previously cited. Bradbury and Koballa discuss some of the tensions that can arise in the MT / PST relationship. Bradbury and Koballa They talk about barriers to communication that can be caused because of the unique nature of mentoring a PST: Spend some time reading the Scenario (Handout 1) and use the Module 2 forum to discuss:Scenario (Handout 1)Module 2 forum –What in this scenario resonates with you? –What are the challenges facing Sue? activity 4

17 We will revisit the scenario later in the session. You will now be introduced to some theories which adapt themselves well to the MT /PST relationship. We will not discuss in detail at the moment but you will be asked to do so later in the session. establishing a relationship with your preservice teacher

18 The way in which power is used is a strong force in the development of relationships. The scenario demonstrated this. The behavioural psychologist David McClelland wrote about power and it’s use and the way it can be used to establish and strengthen working relationships where one person’s position may be seen to put them in a position of power. (This need not necessarily always be the MT as is the case in the scenario!) His theory provides a useful means to think about the way in which power can be used by both parties in the mentoring situation to influence progress and is outlined in the following diagram and in Handout 2.Handout 2 use of power in the mentor preservice teacher relationship

19 Power of Personality Personality and the way we use it is the most useful tool we possess in the ability to develop strong and collegiate relationships according to McClelland Power of Knowledge The way in which we demonstrate and use appropriate knowledge to educate others could be seen as the second most influential aspect of how we successfully use our power to influence others Power of Position Interestingly the use of power of the position we hold is seen as having very little influence and should only be used when absolutely necessary Adapted from McClelland 1977 use of power

20 One of the dilemmas facing Sue in the scenario you just read may be her inability to know when to support and when to challenge PSTs. The following model exemplifies the importance of the need for both challenge and support in developing a successful relationship with, and ultimate successful outcomes for the PST. It also highlights the importance of knowing when to use both challenge and support as strategies to enhance the PST’s performance. (Handout 3)(Handout 3) support challenge model

21 SUPPORT CHALLENGECHALLENGE PST withdraws from the mentoring relationship with no growth possible PST grows through development of a new knowledge and images of self as (teacher) PST is not encouraged to consider or reflect on knowledge and images Deloz 1986 as cited in Elliot, B. & Calder-head, J. (1993) ‘Mentoring for teacher development: possibilities and caveats’ in Mentoring, perspectives on school-based teacher education, Edited by D. McIntyre,: H. Hagger and M. Wilkin. London: Kogan PST becomes confirmed in pre- existing images of teaching High Low support challenge model

22 Consider each of the following scenarios then choose one to comment further in the Module 2 blog. Begin by providing a brief overview of your task from the appropriate PPT slide. Present your information as creatively as you can. Module 2 blog Option 1: Use the Support Challenge model to identify what was happening concerning Sue’s mentoring of Lucy. How could she have improved her communication with Lucy using this model? Option 2: McClelland uses the pie graph to identify the degree to which different types of power are used in a balanced relationship to enhance learning. Use McClelland's Power Model to identify how Sue and Lucy respectively, used power inappropriately to cause the situation that arose during Lucy’s professional experience placement. What does Sue need to do in order to be a successful mentor teacher? Option 3: Use the scenario to write a letter to the site coordinator from Sue explaining why she feels unable to mentor a PST at this time and what support she would need to feel confident to do so in the future. activity 4

23 In a recent survey conducted by UniSA responses were collected from 103, 4th year finishing Undergraduate PSTs in the Junior Primary/Primary/ Primary/Middle programs and 133 Graduate Students from the 18 month course Primary/Middle/Secondary. PSTs in all programs who responded to the questionnaire have completed professional experiences across sectors including, DECS, Catholic and Independent and across both metropolitan and country although predominantly metropolitan settings. unisa survey

24 Preservice Teachers surveyed said they want a Mentor Teacher Who is: Friendly, honest, open, supportive, approachable, available, consistent, encouraging, understanding of their needs and provides them with a sense of belonging and able to set clear expectations from the beginning of the placement. A sound and reflective practitioner who wants to share their practice as an educator. Who will: Provide clear, honest consistent encouraging and challenging feedback both in writing and verbally. unisa survey results

25 These PSTs are talking about the characteristics of their MTs after having completed a rural placement. video (Click on the video to view)

26 The following role is outlined in the course information books and in mentor teacher handbooks and in mentor teacher information sent to schools prior to the professional experience placement The development of a professional relationship with the Pre-service Teacher in order to facilitate their learning, as it pertains to the particular work setting. Supporting the Pre-service Teacher in their transition to the profession of teaching. Supporting the Pre-service Teacher to plan and implement an appropriate program for the students. Providing feedback, verbal and written, on a regular basis to the Pre-service Teacher in areas prioritised by either the Mentor or Pre-service Teacher. Facilitating Pre-service Teacher involvement in all aspects of a teacher's role. Assisting Pre-service Teachers to reach their goals, to be challenged by situations and to meet the requirements of the particular course. Completing a final professional experience report, due at the end of the placement period. the role of the mentor teacher as determined by the school of education unisa in consultation with school partners

27 Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship which involves a more experienced person helping a less experienced person to achieve their goals. Effective mentoring Is a relationship that focuses on the needs of the mentee Fosters caring and supportive relationships Encourages all mentees to develop to their fullest potential Is a strategy to develop active community partnerships Mentoring Australia: http://www.mentoring-australia.orghttp://www.mentoring-australia.org mentoring australia

28 credibility and experience knowledge, skills and competence commitment willingness to make time available appropriate personal qualities e.g. openness to ideas, different ways of thinking, etc. sound communication and interpersonal skills patience, sensitivity and perceptiveness ability to share credit Can you add to the list? qualities of an effective mentor

29 Willingness to be a mentor Helpful but not authoritarian Emotionally committed to their beginners Astute- that is they know the right thing to say at the right time Diplomatic – eg they know how to counteract bad advice given to their beginner by others Able to anticipate problems Timely in keeping the beginners informed of their success Careful to keep the beginners problems confidential Enthusiastic about teaching Good role models at all times. Wildman,T; Magliaro, S; Niles, R and Niles, J (1992) ‘Teacher Mentoring: An analysis of roles, activities and conditions.’ Journal of Teacher Edn, volume43, number3, pages 205-213 characteristics of a mentor

30 A Site Coordinator’s perspective on the what she expects of MTs: video (Click on the video to view)

31 Rodd (2006) suggests that successful mentors display: empathy and understanding; an interest in lifelong learning and professional development; sophisticated interpersonal skills; cultural sensitivity; understanding of the role of the mentor; successful mentor traits

32 Certain skills are associated with effective mentoring, including active listening; effective observations; reflective conversations; awareness of different learning styles; and adult/teacher development.” (Rodd 2006) successful mentor traits

33 To be effective, the mentee needs to: be willing to assume responsibility for their own growth and development be receptive to feedback and coaching seek challenges and greater responsibility for themselves as professionals learn mistakes and take risks be self aware be conscientious and well organised and able to follow through action plans be positive minded Have you mentored a PST who possessed most of these qualities? If so what was your experience of them as a MT? the mentee’s qualities

34 When developing a successful relationship consider the following: it is important that the relationship is one of interdependence and not co- dependence the relationship is contextual and needs to relate to the professional life and goals of the mentee roles are clear and parameters are established through negotiation the relationship is well defined and outcomes are focussed confidentiality is important in the development of trust the purpose of mentoring is for a changed and improved professional life (adapted from a presentation by Jayne Dunn of the Department of Education, Training and Employment SA 2001) the mentoring relationship

35 This process is used in the development of Preservice Education courses in the School of Education at UniSA. It requires educators and mentor teachers to engage in deeper levels of dialogue about their practice The following questions outline the process an educator such as Sue may follow in order to reach the deeper levels of reflection where the ethical issues surrounding the need to change may be confronted. What do I do now? (e.g. I find it difficult to be direct with student teachers who are not meeting my expectations) What does it mean for me and them? The theoretical or underpinning reasons ( I want them to succeed but don’t want to get them off -side) How did I come to be this way? May be female/male role stereotyping, socio/ political conditioning, need to be liked etc) How might I view things differently? This is the critical reflection level where we consider the ethical and moral implications and ask whose interests do my current ways of behaving serve. In order to serve the preservice teacher’s best interests and act in an ethical way I need to change my practice. How might I do this? critical reflection

36 Before you can assist another to set goals for themself you need to know that you can set effective goals for yourself. Having completed the MPI before today’s session and in view of the session undertaken you may like to complete the Mentor Skills Checklist (Handout 4) as part of your ongoing development.Mentor Skills Checklist (Handout 4) After completing the first 2 columns ask yourself the following questions to assist you with the final column: What needs to be done? How will I do it? Who will I need to involve and who will be affected by it? Over what time frame will it take place? How will I monitor my progress? How will I evaluate my success? What assistance do I need? Use the Mentor Skills Checklist (Handout 4) to identify the skills you feel you do well and those in which you feel some need to improve.Mentor Skills Checklist (Handout 4). mentoring skills

37 conclusion The role of the Mentor Teacher as has been evidenced in this module is crucial to the success of the PST. It is important, complex, time consuming and charged with a responsibility which calls for a high degree of professional knowledge and assurance. It requires the ability to develop sound relationships of a high quality so that when tensions arise, as they inevitably do, the MT can utilise necessary skills to transform potential conflict and At best……’the gift of flight for your soul!’


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