3 things that you can do right now

Discuss with your mentee how your own practice has evolved and changed over time.  Use examples of how it has changed and where you gained the knowledge or skills you needed to adapt.

Discuss pedagogical approaches that your mentee has been learning about and try to find a way of working together on something new.

Take 15 minutes during a PPA session or on the drive home from work to think.  Analyse your own practice and see if you can identify one area that you want to work on and discuss this with your mentee.

In this section


In this section we focus on:

  • approaching their work in an analytical manner
  • monitoring new developments in education critically and from different theoretical perspectives

One of the key qualities we will be looking for in the mentees that we support within our schools is the ability to reflect on and analyse their own progress or areas for development.  As is the case with the pupils in our classes, it is vital that we model this type of reflective practice to our mentee.

The skill of analysing your own work and practice is something that comes relatively easy to teachers and is part and parcel of the culture that exists within schools.  It is tougher to model how to be resilient during this process and not allow yourself to doubt your own ability if things do not go as well as you had planned.  This is why it is key that you approach your work in an analytical manner and not a critical one; there is not a huge difference between the two but there are some important distinctions.  Being analytical is the ability to reflect on a process and highlight the positives and negatives without placing blame upon yourself.  A critical reflection will do much the same, but will attach blame or regret.  Of course, critical reflection is sometimes inevitable, but modelling a more professional analysis of your own practice will allow your mentee to understand that it is healthy for them to analyse and reflect upon their own teaching styles.

Alongside the day-to-day analysis of your own practice, it is also key to ensure that you analyse and critique any alternative theoretical approaches that are at odds to your own way of thinking.  This does not mean you need to change the way you teach, but it is important to accept that we can always learn something new and improve; whether that be by observing a colleague and borrowing a fantastic behaviour management strategy or reading a book around Assessment for Learning that completely changes your way of working in the classroom.  Ensuring that you, as an established teacher and mentor, are demonstrating the need to continue growing and developing as a practitioner will have a hugely positive impact on your mentee.

What do we mean by Research Informed Practice in Education?

Dr Karen Taylor considers how we acquire and retain knowledge. This very easy to access blog from CEM outlines how you can most effectively use your time when engaging in informed practice.

Read the blog here.

How schools can engage with research and evidence

Dr Deborah Netolicky considers at how schools and teachers can engage with research.  Broken down into five easy steps, this is an accessible blog providing a great starting point for any Teacher Educator who is keen to develop their own knowledge.

Read the blog here.

5 Conversations for Professional Growth

This article from Dr Kristine Needham outlines how you can build on your own professional growth through effective learning conversations.  All information is based on well-respected research conducted by Helen Timperley. 

Read the article 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 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.

Improve your teaching and that of your team - Self Assessment

Geoff Petty outlines a variety of easy to complete self-assessment tasks that allow you to take a reflective approach to your practice.  A lot of the examples are in relation to you as a teacher but can be applied to you as a mentor.

Read the article here.

Mentor Evaluation Form Examples

This audit from the University of Wisconsin acts as an excellent self-reflection tool. Completing a straightforward audit will allow you to identify areas that you feel less confident in as a Teacher Educator.

View the forms here.

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

Teacher Educator Story 7 is an example of using critical incident approach to analyse practice written by a school-based teacher educator about monitoring quality of mentoring. 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 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.

Loughran, J. (2014) Professionally developing as a teacher educator. Journal of teacher education, 65(4), 271-283.

Read the article here.

Teacher Reflective Practice

Dylan Wiliam outlines exactly why it is so important for teachers to ensure that they are reflecting on their own practice.  He argues ‘we all need to accept the commitment to carry on improving our practice, until we decide to retire'.

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.

Analyse - Further Development