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Negative & patronising mentor! (secondary PGCE)

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Marshall08, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Marshall08

    Marshall08 New commenter

    I am currently in my second (and last) placement school and my mentor is worlds apart from the first one!

    I keep telling myself to grin and bear it as, if nothing else, it is good practice for me to try and work with someone who seriously rubs me up the wrong way!

    The person in question constantly tells me

    ? that throughout my future teaching career I can expect little time or money (I understand it is a time consuming profession but to be told every day is a little too much!)
    ? that she feels there is no place for ICT in lessons as the pupils are already swapped by it in other subject areas (I teach D&T!, surely a subject that needs to move with the times but I won't start ranting about that here & now!)
    ? she is constantly telling me how busy she is and doesn't have time for me (then goes on to tell me 'you won't have any time as a teacher' as before)
    ? the feedback that she gives me isn't worth the paper it's written on...it enables me to change parts of lessons in the future but she just wants me to imitate her teaching style and I think that is why we clash, I am not like her.

    She knows her stuff but describes herself as 'old school', however, her constant negativity about the future of teaching is driving me mad (she thinks all teachers will be replaced by power points and staff who present them to pupils within the next few years...go figure!)

    Other members of the school staff have told me to take how she is with a pinch of salt but it puts me in a predicament when they say things about her to me as I cannot respond in the same way!

    I have brought these points up with my Uni tutor and another member of staff but my mentor sits and nods and doesn?t act upon any of my requests.

    Do any of you have any 'nightmare' mentors or similar issues?
  2. Marshall08

    Marshall08 New commenter

    Grrrr.....where have all of my lovely laid out paragraphs gone!!
  3. Hi Marshall,

    Sadly I know how you feel! My first placement was amazing. Whilst I actually had an NQT as a mentor, she was very organised, honest and offered constructive criticism.I used this to improve in areas she mentioned.

    Now that I am in my second teaching placement, I have got a mentor who has taught for 12 years. She appears to have little time for me, and is quite a disorganised person. Her teaching style/behaviour management approach is extremely relaxed and she puts up with low level disruption. I think this will be massive challenge for me when I take over her classes and I won't be happy to put up with such behaviour and this is something I am dreading to face! She also threaten the class and then doesn't follow through for example a few girls in the class did very little work and she told them they wouldn't be allowed to cook next lesson (I am also D&T) then when the girls asked she gave in and said with a roll of the eyes, ok I suppose you can cook!

    I haven't started formal observations but I am dreading it as I feel like she lacks credibility in terms of being able to offer me support and advice if her own lessons are the way they are. Clearly NOT leading by example!

    So you aren't alone but sadly there isn't a lot that can be done about it really is there?
  4. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    You are very lucky if you consider this to be a nightmare...
  5. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Do you have a Professional Mentor in school? If you're not getting the time you're entitled to, then you need to speak to them about it. If this happens with my trainees, I do expect them to tell me so that I can follow it up.
    Change them for the better? I'm more than happy to accept that my trainees will never be me, and my written feedback often always in form of questions and suggestions - but I am the qualified one, and I do expect trainees to listen to and act upon what I say.
    Does she see what you are doing as ICT for the sake of it? Is she perhaps trying to prepare you for a school where there is none available? Can you show her the value of it through what you do?
    It might sound extreme, but with CSs becoming more and more popular with schools, this could be a real possibility. We have one dept which is pretty much run like this with an unqualified member of staff delivering someone's materials.
    What is it that you want her to do?

  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    That's what I was thinking as well.

    A clash of styles is not a nightmare. Not by a very long shot.
  7. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    My first mentor advocated the wearing of very low cut tops as a classroom management strategy (she really did it and it really did keep her year 10 boys quiet - although I am not sure how much learning went on)
    Then she pointedly commented that I wouldn't be able to do that.
    B**** but not a nightmare either.
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Sorry that is soooooo funny! Make me remember I'm not such a naff mentor after all!
  9. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Looking back, it was funny; at the time, considering it was about the only "advice" she offered, it wasn't much sodding use!
  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I can see that as 'mentoring advice' it is flippin useless. But it is making me chuckle...sorry, please don't be offended.
  11. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I'm not offended now, but to be told my boobs were too small by a woman who could ONLY control this class by using hers was quite offensive at the time!

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