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Questions to ask PGCE Mentor

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by emwoolnough94, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. emwoolnough94

    emwoolnough94 New commenter

    Hi everyone!
    I am starting my PGCE in the next two weeks and I am trying to come up with some questions to ask my mentor at the start of the placement, and I am just wondering if anyone has any good questions to ask? I have tried searching blogs and on social media but there isn't much out there regarding this subject.
    So far I have:
    1. What can I do to make your life easier while I am here?
    2. What is the tea/coffee situation in the office?
    3. What colour pen do you correct/mark in? (asking cause my friend's school is very specific on what pens they can use)
    I don't want to miss asking anything that may be important for the first meeting, so any ideas would be appreciated!

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I'd take your lead from the mentor. There will be lots for you to learn, and it doesn't all need to be done on the first day - you're bound to be told about any marking policies well before you actually start doing any marking, and if not, it's easy to ask at the point of need.

    "Where should I leave my coat/bag/cycle helmet?" is probably the first question, and ask about tea/coffee at the first break. Where the staff toilets are might be covered when you arrive by asking the receptionist. Check where you are expected to be based between lessons (in secondary). And make sure you know the arrangements for letting the school know if you are unwell - after all, it could happen on day two.

    Your mentor will probably have a list of things to get through, and they'll know what's most important in their school, and what you need to know when. You start off observing, so do lots of that and learn from it. Questions will occur to you as watch - make a note of them to ask at a convenient time later. Not everything needs to be covered the first day, and indeed, you'd never remember it if it was.

    Your first question is a great sentiment, but it's more to the point to do all the common sense things: watch, listen, learn, ask if you're not sure about something, take advice, don't try to tell the teachers what they should be doing.
     
    freckle06 and blueskydreaming like this.
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Lead commenter

    Dress code?
     
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    As well as the points made above:

    Ask for all relevant school policies.
    Ask how you will get the log-ins you need for the school IT system (for both registration and departmental resources etc).
    Ask if you can buy lunch in the canteen, or where you can leave your packed lunch if you bring one.
    Ask what your mentor would advise you concentrate on doing between now & September.
     
  5. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    As said above, I understand your sentiment, but remember that you are the one who is training, and in the nicest possible way it is your mentors who need to support you, not the other way around.

    Be polite and 'nice', but not overly friendly (as in be professional, not there to make best buddies). Pay attention and learn. Observe as many classes and teachers as possible. Ask for support if you need it - don't worry about looking silly, even if you've needed something repeating or showing several times.

    Don't compare yourself to other trainees.
     
  6. emwoolnough94

    emwoolnough94 New commenter

    Thank you all for the suggestions and tips!

    I feel I am as prepared as I can be in terms of subject knowledge and I have read up on the general policies of my placement school with copies in my folder for reference. I have an inset day where my mentor will go through department procedures etc. Trying to relax a little before the hectic year starts! Excited and nervous all at once :)
     

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