3 things that you can do right now

Engage with some of the research highlighted within the TEMZ.

Ring fence time that you will focus on developing yourself as a Teacher Educator rather than focussing on you as a teacher.

Be open minded when working with your mentee and understand that learning is a two-way process.

In this section

Develop Expertise

In this section we focus on:

  • using the professional knowledge of Teacher Educators and other products of (practical) research in order to interpret and further develop their teaching practice
  • taking on focused activities to maintain and develop their expertise

One of the highlights of being a mentor is that you are developing yourself as much as you are developing your mentee. Mentoring is a collaborative and two-way process. The very best mentors are aware that they may be able to learn some new tricks by supporting a trainee or colleague. Alongside this dual learning process is the importance of ensuring that you are self-motivated to improve your own practice, not only to become a better teacher but also a better Teacher Educator. Engaging in key texts around mentoring, working with other colleagues who are currently in a mentoring role or ensuring that you attend the mentor training sessions at your local provider are all ways in which you can demonstrate your drive to develop. There are plenty of sources from which you can gain new knowledge. Some of these are listed within the TEMZ pages guiding you towards the best research and theory that is related to Teacher Educators. The best thing you can do to ensure that you are developing your own expertise, as much as you are your mentee’s, is to acknowledge that being a mentor is a different role to being a teacher. It requires a different set of skills and some you may not have instinctively. The children in our classes are always learning something new, those ‘light bulb’ moments. Do not be scared to have some new ‘light bulb’ moments of your own.

When looking to improve your own knowledge and practice as a Teacher Educator, it can be difficult to know where to turn to for advice or support. If you are working with a trainee talk to the training provider about any areas that you feel less confident in and you will receive excellent support. Refer to resources such as the TEMZ and follow the links that we have provided is a starting point towards the goal of developing your practice through your own research.

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.

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 website (www.go.herts.ac.uk/FLiTE)

Teacher Educator stories explore some of the challenges in assessing student teachers. FLiTE resources can be used for individual or collaborative professional development of teacher educators working in initial teacher education partnerships.

Download the resources here: 

Teacher Educator - Story 1

Teacher Educator - Story 4

Teacher Educator - Story 9

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

Teacher Educator stories are about developing the professionalism of student-teachers and teacher educators. FLiTE resources can be used for individual or collaborative professional development of teacher educators working in initial teacher education partnerships.

Download the resources here

Teacher Educator - Story 4

Teacher Educator - Story 8

STEM Online Resources

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 resources here. 

Ofsted - ITT Curriculum Research

Published by Ofsted, this publication identifies what best practice looks like within ITT models. Although focussing on multiple elements of teacher training provision, there is useful information in relation to mentoring. The document states “The evidence also suggests that in-school mentors are a critical factor in supporting the practical implementation of the ITE curriculum.”

View the publication 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.

Teacher educators as researchers: Multiple perspectives Article in Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 21, Issue 2, February 2005, Pages 219-225
Marilyn Cochran-Smith (2005)

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.

Professional Dialogues in the Early Years: Rediscovering early years pedagogy and principles
Elise Alexander, (Critical Publishing, 2018)

As the title suggests, this is a great read for anyone who is working within the EYFS sector.  The book states it is keen to ‘offer many suggestions about how those who are educating practitioners may encourage the development of qualities required to become great teachers'. There are lots of useful ideas but these are very specifically tailored to an EYFS environment.

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 case studies here.

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.

Develop Expertise - Further Development


Develop Expertise