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Really worried about my mentor!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Shahira78, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. I'm 4 weeks into my first placement and am really starting to worry about my mentor. He has been teaching around 20 years now and is in his 60's. He will retire this year. He has never mentored before, nor has had any mentor training provided for him by my uni. This is a horrible situation for me (and him), not because he is not a good teacher (he's very good!), but because I feel it's the blind leading the blind when it comes to the paperwork and the Q-standards. I even end up feeling sorry for him because he's such a lovely guy. For example, on my lesson observation forms, he has been unable to decide on a grade because he does not what the grading criterias are (the uni has emailed him the details and I have shown this to him but he is unsure of what to do). Last week's lesson observation he jotted down separate notes (ie. not on observation form) and gave me oral feedback. I need the original form filled but he says he will do it as he's behind on paperwork - and I hate putting pressure on him. I've even caught him falling asleep a couple of times when he is assessing work! I'm really starting to worry because of this difficult situation and have emailed my visiting tutor. She simply emailed me back saying he is an extremely qualified teacher (which I agree with!), that she has spent an hour speaking to him (after my first visit) and that she is sure if he has a problem - he should email/call her. I don't feel she knows the extent of it at all.
    This all stemmed from my uni losing my placement form and telling me (and 6 others from our PGCE year) about it the day after they allocated about 160 placements for PGCE. They obviously called my school last minute to arrange my current placement!!!
    What should I do? I really do not want to fail this placement as I feel I could be a really good teacher and am working hard, but it's starting to get me down...
    Thank you
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    ITT providers do differ, but you wouldn't fail with the one we have students from because lesson obs forms weren't filled in correctly, or other paperwork wasn't done. If your visiting tutor is happy with things then there probably isn't an issue for you.

    So long as the interim and final assessment forms are filled in correctly, then you will pass. We don't grade individual lessons, just an overall grading based on all the standards at the end of the placement. The only need for all the bits of paperwork in between is if there is a disagreement about the final grading.

    Having a first time mentor isn't a problem. Having a mentor who is near retirement isn't a problem.
  3. If you have concerns, talk to youir tutor. If the mentor is inexperienced they may be able to provide extra support - if they are not doing the right thing, agaion the tutor should know so that they can intervene and prevent issues from arising.
  4. Thank you for your responses.
    I did email my visiting tutor with my concerns. I received an email back basically saying that if my mentor has any issues/worries, he has her email address and phone number. Hasn't helped much but at least I sent an email.
    2 more weeks of placement left - wish me luck!
    Thanks again.
  5. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    Hi Shahira,
    Your sensitive and understanding view of the situation indicate to me that you will become a valuable member of the profession. Make sure that you continue to be tactful and professional in communications. Good Luck - you deserve it.

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