Much more than a mentor!
NQT mentors are responsible for three areas: support, monitoring and assessment.
Most people feel happy in the support role, but find that their responsibilities for monitoring and assessment can conflict with this. Many teachers took the role of NQT mentor without fully appreciating what it involves – the day-to-day responsibility for the monitoring, support and assessment of their NQTs. In particular, an NQT mentor to:
- be fully aware of the requirements of the induction period
- have the skills, expertise and knowledge they need to work effectively in the role
- provide or co-ordinate effective guidance and support
- devise an individualised programme of monitoring and support, which provides opportunities for NQTs to develop further their knowledge, skills and achievements
- make rigorous and fair judgements about the new teacher's performance in relation to the Professional Standard
Teaching NQTs, for that is what NQT mentors do, can be highly rewarding because the effects of an induction programme will last throughout a teacher's career, having an impact on hundreds or thousands of children.
Many NQT mentors feel worried about how well they are carrying out their role. They don't know whether they are expecting too much or too little of their NQTs. Some even welcome an Ofsted inspection because it gives them an objective measure of how well their NQTs are teaching.
With school to school support developing further, many mentors are turning to mentor colleagues in other schools for advise and support. In Walsall the Mentor Network is the first step towards developing this good practice by facilitating quality; dialogue, support and validation.