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The mentoring role

Classroom teachers in their roles as teacher mentors play a crucial role in facilitating preservice and beginning teachers’ development within the school context. Quality mentoring has a profound effect on the success of preservice and beginning teachers, as well as experienced teachers and school communities. 

Preservice teacher 

'In order to develop an effective mentoring relationship the mentor must listen deeply, be patient, willing to pass on their knowledge and expertise, be open to new ideas and must have a genuine interest in their preservice teacher.'

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a reciprocal professional learning relationship between the mentor and the mentee which contributes to the growth and development of both partners.

The partnership helps the mentee to consolidate personal and professional confidence and feel valued as a staff member who is able to embrace the values, standards and expectations of their vocation. For the mentor, the partnership provides the opportunity to confirm, renew and share their contribution to the profession and their school community.

Who will make a good mentor?

Fundamentally, teachers who become mentors need to display evidence of outstanding teaching practice, be good role models who have the respect of their colleagues and be held in good regard for their professional and personal attributes.

Successful teacher mentors are teachers who:

  • Have excellent interpersonal skills and enjoy working with other professionals.
  • Have good listening skills and are respectful of their colleagues.
  • Have good questioning techniques that elicit fresh insight about teacher practice.
  • Are sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.
  • Are willing to contribute to the professional development of others and share what they know.
  • Are confident and secure in their knowledge of teaching theory and practice and make an effort to remain current in this knowledge.