3 things that you can do right now

Consider what professional values you hold and how you can demonstrate these on a consistent basis with your mentee.

Contribute and collaborate with any teacher training providers that work with your school.

Work alongside your mentee and discuss what their professional values are. How can you nurture and support them in developing these?

In this section


In this section we focus on:

  • informed, constructive advocates for high quality education for all learners
  • contributing to improving the teacher education profession
  • contributing to creating visions for teaching, learning and teacher education

Being an excellent mentor is much like being an excellent teacher. You cannot just rely on box ticking; going the ‘extra mile’ is a prerequisite of the job. As part of our role as mentors, it is vital that we are advocates, not just for our job but also for our profession. Let’s face it, teaching can be a bit of a ‘closed off’ world. There seems to be a new acronym every week, very few people have much time to discuss their day-to-day job with anyone outside of school and there is still a lack of understanding of just how much effort goes into being a teacher within our schools.

The professional behaviours you demonstrate when working with your mentee will have a lasting impact on them and will most likely be the model they use to judge their own professional behaviour. If they are looking up to someone who is enthusiastic, engaged and positive about the idea of being a mentor, then that will only encourage them to show the same characteristics. By being a mentor, you are immediately lifted into the role of someone who is being relied upon by someone else. There will be explicit and implicit roles and responsibilities that fall upon your shoulders and advocating is one of the more implicit. The fact that you are contributing to the development of other practitioners means you are already an advocate. How you go about the business of supporting them, and the attitudes you show, are where the best mentors excel. Ensuring that you are aware of what the expectations are that have been placed on you and ensuring that you are doing the best that you possibly can, are examples of how you can be an excellent advocate for our amazing profession. Being an advocate is not being perfect; it is ensuring that you demonstrate the qualities and professional values that you believe are the ingredients of the very best teachers and mentors.

Teaching Strategies that Advocate Your Students

This article considers the role teachers play in advocating their students. All the points made in this are applicable to a mentor and mentee relationship; replace teacher with mentor and student with mentee.

Read the article here.

What is mentoring all about?

The Mentoring and Advocacy Support Hub supports vulnerable adults with mental health problems. This page considers how an advocate can support someone who lacks confidenc to feel valued. A lot of the guidance is applicable to a mentor and mentee relationship.  

Read the article here.

Peer Mentor Handbook

This handbook from the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania exemplify the boundaries that should be in place in a peer-to-peer mentor relationship.  It breaks down the skills and qualities the best mentors will need to have and, just as importantly, things they might want to avoid.

Read the handbook here.

Brave research as a means to transform teacher education

Well respected teacher educators, Anja Swennen and David Powell explore the concept of Brave Research to empower teacher educators in advocating for high quality education for all learners, improving the teacher education profession and contributing to creating visions for teaching, learning and teacher education.

Read the article here.

The Professional Identity of Teacher Educators: Career on the Cusp?
Ronnie Davey (Routledge, 2013)

Ronnie Davey from the University of Canterbury explores what the ‘professional identity’ of a Teacher Educator is and how this differs from the professional identity of a teacher generally.

Read the book here.

Teacher Professional Learning and Development

This free online book from the University of Auckland outlines how teachers can invest in their own professional development. 

Read the online book here.

Post Compulsory Teacher Educators: Connecting Professionals  Italicise title
Jim Crawley (Critical Publishing, 2016)

Jim Crawley describes how important it is for all teachers to continue their own development through compulsory education once qualified.  As mentors, we play a large role in ensuring that continuing development for those teachers is effective and meaningful.

Teacher educators pathways to becoming research active

This collection of case studies outlines the different pathways that teachers have followed to becoming Teacher Educators. Some have envisaged carrying out this role their entire lives and others have fallen into it without it ever being part of their plan.  This is a realistic viewpoint and represents the experience of a lot of Teacher Educators.  The experiences of the Teacher Educators within this accessible booklet will resonate with a range of practitioners and will support you in building your own skills.

Read the article here.

Five steps to becoming an advocate

This motivational TED talk from Joseph Campbell explores how you can best advocate your own passions and beliefs.  Campbell say ‘advocacy at the core, is a deeply embedded sense of purpose'.


Teachers need real feedback

In this fascinating TED talk, Bill Gates outlines the importance of creating a culture of improved feedback and the impact this can have on us as practitioners.

Advocate - Further Development