3 things that you can do right now

Ensure you are demonstrating professional values at all times. Remind yourself that for a lot of mentees, you are the first example of a teacher they will have worked alongside.

Speak to your mentee about what is being covered in centre-based sessions and try to make a link between what has been taught and what you do in class.

Embrace the opportunity to have someone working with you each day and demonstrate key skills such as organisation and a healthy attitude to workload.

In this section


In this section we focus on:

  • modelling teaching that demonstrates professional knowledge, skills and attitudes reflecting research and effective practices in education
  • explicitly using their own practice as a model, accounting for their pedagogical choices

Put in its simplest terms, modelling is ensuring that you are accountable for everything you do. Your mentee will be watching everything you do, and if you are supporting a trainee teacher that really does mean everything! The way you greet your class bleary eyed at the start of the day or how prompt you are for break duty are all things that a mentee will notice. For many trainees, you will be the only example they have of what a teacher looks like, does, how they conduct themselves, etc. and this is a big responsibility. It is also a privilege. Model the person you want to see and ensure that you are that positive example who gives your mentee an enthusiastic start to life in school. Alongside modelling professional values, are the pedagogical approaches you take. As a mentor, you will most likely have a very clear and well-established way of working. This is crucial in being able to justify and explain to your mentee why it is you taught your maths lesson a certain way; why you used that strategy with that challenging behaviour within a lesson. Being accountable for the choices you make as a teacher and explaining this to your mentee, allows them to make choices themselves rather than just following something blindly because “that’s just what my mentor/school does”. Modelling as a mentor is not that different to modelling as a teacher. Identify the key principles of what makes you a great teacher and make these as explicit as possible to your mentee. This will allow your mentee to develop their own teaching skillset by trying observed practice with a clear rationale to reinforce it. For those mentors who are supporting trainees, the very best will be aware of the curriculum that is being delivered by the training programme and will try to model practical examples of the theory that is being taught, therefore, allowing them to contextualise theoretical pedagogy approaches.

The Modelling, Mentoring and Coaching Paradigm

The National Forest Teaching School has described their mentoring process in this helpful webpage. The diagrams outline a suggested approach to modelling effectively when working with trainees.

Read the article here.


These short, free online courses, hosted on the FutureLearn Platform are the perfect resource for anyone looking to find some self-directed learning platforms. There are programmes focussing on:

  • NE700 Managing Behaviour for Learning
  • NE711 Introduction into Assessment for Learning
  • NE710 Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment
  • NE714 Feedback for Learning

There are also subject specific courses at both primary and secondary level.

View the website here.

STEM Primary Curated Collections

A fantastic online resource that covers a wider range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) materials that are useful to all primary teachers at any stage of their career. Invaluable pool of resources for both teacher educators and trainees.

View the resources here.

Evidence Based Teaching - The ‘I do, We do, You do’ model

The ‘I do, We do, You do’ model is one a lot of teachers will be familiar with. As simple as it effective, this modelling technique is applicable to nearly any mentor relationship. You are scaffolding the learning of your mentee by demonstrating what the expectation is. Sharing that experience together, often repeatedly and then allowing them to apply independent of the support.

View the model here.

Strategies and Models for Teachers: Teaching Content and Thinking Skills
Paul Eggen and Don Kauchak (Pearson, 2011)

This text is focussed on how to be an effective music teacher, but the points made are applicable to all practitioners across all Key Stages.

Social Learning Theory
Albert Bandura (General Learning Press, 1977)

A wide-ranging text that focuses on a concept known as Social Learning Theory.  The text focuses on the idea that we learn through observing other people’s professional behaviours and the outcome of these behaviours.

Working towards explicit modelling: experiences of a new teacher educator White, E. (2011) Professional Development in Education, 37(4), 483-497. Open Access Version: 

This research finds that by developing the effectiveness of modelling in combination with an open dialogue and reflective practice, student teachers are helped to articulate their learning more clearly.

View the article here.

Exploring the professional development needs of new teacher educators situated solely in school: pedagogical knowledge and professional identity White, E. (2013) Professional Development in Education, 39 (1), 82-98. Open Access Version

This research highlights that new school-based teacher educators have some similar professional development needs to those situated in universities including fostering an understanding that modelling needs to be made explicit to student teachers. They do not always identify themselves as teacher educators or appreciate the different knowledge and skills of this new professional role. It highlights the need for school-based teacher educators to be supported within a community of practice with other teacher educators whilst they develop new identity.

View the article here.

School-based Teacher Training: A handbook for teachers and mentors (White and Jarvis, 2013).

Chapter 4 ‘The pedagogy of teacher educators’ helps you to think in more depth about modelling professional knowledge and skills effectively to student teachers.

View the book here.

Developing Outstanding Practice in School-based Teacher Education (Jones and White 2015).

Chapter 3 ‘How can I develop outstanding teachers?’ considers the difference between teaching and teaching about teaching, and how to develop a pedagogy of explicit modelling.

View the book here.

Educative Mentoring

In this thought-piece Julia Mackintosh considers what we mean by educative mentoring.

Read the thought-piece here.

Mentoring Relationships, Ambrosetti, A., and Dekkers, J. (2010)

The Interconnectedness of the Roles of Mentors and Mentees in Pre-service Teacher Education Mentoring Relationships. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 35(6). 

View the journal here.

Modelling, Lunenberg, M., Korthagen, F. and Swennen, A. (2007)

The teacher educator as a role model. Teaching and teacher education, 23(5), 586-601. 

Download the PDF here.

Developmental Mentoring for Initial Teacher Educators

This video is about how student teachers develop, and ways to support their development. It is for anyone who is mentoring in initial teacher education. It refers to inside-outside mentoring activity below.

Model - Further Development