3 things that you can do right now

Look at the training programme for your training provider, Appropriate Body or school. Plan some tasks or activities that will support your mentee to make links between theory and practice.

Familiarise yourself with the Teachers' Standards and try to prioritise the right things at the right time. For example, Standards 1 and 7 are likely to be a key focus at the start of a new placement.

Structure your mentee's learning. Be reactive to the needs of the mentee whilst having a longer term plan for what you will cover and when.

In this section

Structure and Co-ordinate Learning

In this section we focus on:

  • structuring and co-ordinating learning across a range of educational settings

Just like the schools we work in, teacher training providers have their own curriculum. This will be tightly linked to the needs of the trainees within their context and an extensive planning process will have taken place in order to ensure that subjects are taught in an effective sequence. Successful Teacher Educators, whether they are working with a teacher training provider or their own school with an employee, familiarise themselves with the curriculum and try to ensure that there is a link between what is being covered during training sessions and the discussions that are held during the week in a classroom setting. A trainee in September will have a very different set of needs and targets in comparison to a trainee in July or an RQT who is leading a subject. Ensuring that you are talking about the right things at the right time can ‘lift the fog’ for a mentee. Most trainees will be focussing on Standards 1 and 7 during the early stages of their training. It may well be the first time they have been in a room with 30 pupils, let alone being in charge of them. Discussing the importance of Assessment for Learning (AfL) and the impact that metacognition can have on children’s learning during the first week of teaching is probably not going to meet the needs of your trainee. Vital elements of effective teaching though they are, these conversations can wait for a later date. If you are supporting a colleague who is perhaps further on in their career, these conversations might be more appropriate. This is why structuring the learning for your mentee, no matter what stage of their career they are at, is so vital. For trainees, look at the training sessions that are being held. These sessions will have been placed strategically at this point of the year and so this will most likely be a good time to focus on them within the classroom. Try to create a link between centre-based training and the areas you are covering in the classroom. The opportunity for a trainee to contextualise what they are reading or learning about in training can be very powerful and can often be the ‘penny dropping’ moment.

Deliberate Practice for Teacher Educators: A Handbook

Page 8 of this very useful and well-focussed handbook from Ambition Institute outlines how you can ‘preserve time for practice’ to ensure that you are structuring learning effectively.

Read the handbook here. 

Mentoring and coaching for teachers in the further education and skills sector in England

This brief report from Gatsby summarises key findings of research that sought to provide a comprehensive account of existing mentoring for teachers. The entire report is very useful and has implications for us as Teacher Educators. Perhaps the most useful section of the report is on page 4 where a table clearly displays the areas where teachers feel they would benefit from additional professional development. Although this should not be used as a ‘one size fits all’ approach, using the table to help identify common areas of perceived weakness will help you to ensure you are supporting mentees in the right areas of their practice.

Read the report here.

For Learning in Teacher Education - FLiTE website (www.go.herts.ac.uk/FLiTE)

Teacher Educator Story 5 illustrates challenges experienced in co-ordinating learning across settings. FLiTE resources can be used for individual or collaborative professional development of teacher educators working in initial teacher education partnerships.

Download the resource here

Teacher Educator - Story 5

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.

From Staff Room to Classroom: A Guide for Planning and Coaching Professional Development
Robin J. Fogarty and Brian Pete (Corwin, 2017)

This recent publication outlines a range of tools and strategies for delivering and coaching successfully within our schools and classrooms. The book focuses on one-to-one relationships, as well as looking at the ‘bigger picture’ of whole school development.

Coming soon.

Structure and Co-ordinate Learning - Further Development

Download our bitesize guide

Structure and Co-ordinate Learning