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Are placement mentors allowed to do this?

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by FlyingFoxBat, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. FlyingFoxBat

    FlyingFoxBat New commenter

    I'm a pre-service trainee Further Education teacher. I know this question might seem a little strange, but here goes...

    On my last placement, my mentor would often go home early while I was teaching the class (this would have been his final class of the day if I wasn't teaching it for my placement. Plus, because I'm pre-service, my mentor was paid for teaching this class.)

    Anyway, I've talked to some school teachers I know and they think my mentor was 'breaking the rules' by doing this, as they were required to remain on site (though not necessarily in the classroom) while trainees taught their usual classes. However, because I'm training to work in Further Education, I'm not sure whether or not the same protocol applies.

    I haven't asked anyone at college because they would probably make the connection or ask awkward questions, and, despite having a few issues with him, I don't really want to get him into trouble. If anyone asks me about my mentor going home early, I'm not sure how to answer. I had planned to play dumb and say something along the lines of "I don't think so'', but then I thought that this (leaving early) might be permitted if mentors informs their trainees that they won't be around during that session time. If that's the case, I'd need to say that he always informed me when he needed to go home early.

    Please could someone from the Further Education sector tell me where placement mentors stand on this issue? Was my mentor allowed to leave me teaching a class he was paid to teach to go home early, or did he break the rules?
  2. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    As a retired FE teacher, to me it certainly is unprofessional, but like you I'm not sure of your colleges actual requirements. What about speaking to the union rep if there are no members of staff you feel you can trust? I hope you have joined the Union.

    Repost this in Workplace Dilemmas. More people look at that than here and you have TheoGriff specifically to answer questions like this.
  3. FlyingFoxBat

    FlyingFoxBat New commenter

    Hi TCSC47 and thanks for your reply and advice :) . Yes, I'll repost this in Workplace Dilemmas. Hope to chat with you again soon.
  4. colinbillett

    colinbillett Occasional commenter

    I did a couple of mentoring roles in FE, and I was doing as a service to a local university, who duly paid my FE college. In one type of case, my mentees were teaching my classes, so it never occurred to me to leave them to it. I was being paid for the class and the mentees were getting experience, but I am sure I was legally responsible. In the other type of case I mentored someone in a different subject area, so I would just observe his lessons and duly give my professional feedback. It looks like the OP is the first type, and the mentor ought not to have skipped ship.
    FlyingFoxBat likes this.
  5. sopsychedout

    sopsychedout New commenter

    I mentored a PGCE student like yourself back in 2011 and the mentor handbook clearly stated that I needed to remain available while she was teaching, if not in the room then somewhere nearby where she could have reached me if there were any problems. When I was a PGCE student, my mentor was not always there BUT there was always another teacher available when needed. So, if your mentor is doing neither of those things, then you should definitely speak to your tutor.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

  6. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    When I was on PGCE if my mentor was out of college, I had a reserve mentor - someone on call if I needed help or advice. I was told to 'see Fred' if there were any problems.
    The student that we have now must be extremely lucky. The previous HOD used to mentor and observe; she has a mentor who is sometimes in her lessons and sometimes not; plus we all keep an eye on her and offer moral support, backup and advice whenever she needs it. She is treated as a full member of staff.
    Fly in the ointment, one member of staff is constantly criticizing her, undermining her and complaining about her behavior management. Takes delight in going into her lessons and shouting at her students. Does it to make their self look better at a cost to the student. That person has not been qualified very long and really should know better.
  7. sopsychedout

    sopsychedout New commenter

    How dreadful! I hope that you and your colleagues are putting this person straight (this happened to me a few years ago, even though I was a HoD and contributed to my period of illness a few years ago)! E.g. Perhaps someone should pay a visit to this person's classroom to see how well this person is doing. In my experience, people who criticise the most are often the worst!
    FlyingFoxBat likes this.

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