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Rubbish mentors

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by dav1970, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. dav1970

    dav1970 New commenter

    Has anybody here got what they would consider a rubbish mentor?
    By rubbish mentor, I mean one that never arranges meetings with you, never asks how you are getting on, rarely comes in to see you, never checks your books and has what one would consider as a 'perma frown' when you are about to have the audacity to ask for a small bit of advice?
    Just wondering.
  2. I have had two mentors this year and they are both lovely but very different. The first one had an open door policy, held a meeting with me every week, gave detailed feedback on my observations and helped me set targets and checked my folder regularly. He took his role very seriously and did hand hold me through the first term. My second mentor is very different and lets me get on with it, althought she will send me texts if she isn't in school for a few days and will pop into my classroom after school if she hasn't seem me all day but is often too busy when I need some specific advice/help as she has several roles within school, however I work with a fantastic partner teacher who is always willing to give advice, and other (sometimes more appropriate people can be asked) so I think this balances that out. I have had 3 meetings with my current mentor this term - two for observation feedback and one to complete my 2nd term assessment.
    I liked both approaches but feel that I will be ready to leave induction because it has been left to me to be pro-active but it has provided a contrast in how much time mentors are willing (or I think in my case) able to provide because of other roles in school. I don't think my second mentor is rubbish compared to my first, just very different with a different view of what mentoring is and perhaps is doing me a bigger favour letting me run on my own in the longer term. In all fairness, everything has been done as and when it should have been. I suppose the fact that I also did GTP is a factor here too as I had a lot of mentoring during my GTP year and felt ready to fly on my own at the end of the NQT - I was very well prepared for my NQT year by my GTP mentor (who was different again).
    I really feel for the people who haven't had a great experience or much mentoring. I will be glad to complete NQT induction because in some respects it has felt like a box ticking exercise but I guess it is necessary.
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Errrr well I am a mentor, but I don't do all of those things. Am I rubbish? I hope not.

    I do sort of arrange meetings, but since Feb half term, more for a specific reason than because we are supposed to. The first half of the year we did fortnightly meetings and filled out the record, but it got harder and harder to find something to focus on. So we moved to meeting as and when we needed to. Either one of us can arrange the meeting.

    I've never ever checked her books and wouldn't dream of doing so. I have seen them when observing lessons and when discussing APP, so am aware of her marking and the standard of presentation expected. But I'd not ask to see them in a monitoring/judging capacity.

    I'd say an NQT who wants all of these things could make an effort to get them. YOU can arrange a meeting with your mentor. YOU could go and have a chat if you want to talk about how you are getting on. YOU could ask her to have a look at your books, if you want advice. YOU could ignore the frown and realise it probably has nothing at all to do with you asking for advice, but just a result of a bad day.

    I'm not a rubbish mentor, but I do have bad days. I do have manically busy days. I do have other jobs in school to do. I cannot be smiling and available every minute of every day. I'm human. And luckily I have a great NQT who doesn't expect me to be on her back every minute checking every thing she does and who leaves her alone to stand on her own two feet.
  4. Minnie, the OP sounds like they don't have a relationship with their mentor. That is a problem. I have known that before and the mentor told lies to cover their back when it was discovered the nqt was struggling. OP on the plus side if your mentor isn't feeling pressure to do all those things then the school must think you are coping fine.
  5. And, OP, if you are David Hall, then I'd think about using this forum in this way - and good luck
  6. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Superb advice here. I would find mentors in anyone you can. You official mentors should be relied upon for the paperwork side of things - anything extra is a bonus. Being proactive is essential. While I'd say you'd find something similar in school, I should say that it is easier when you're a permanent member of staff.
  7. dav1970

    dav1970 New commenter

    Hi all
    My relationship is totally fine, I get what I expect and to tell you the truth, I'm too busy to have anything more than what I alreadt get from him. However, I've seen a younger NQT suffer because of what I say and it is frustrating to see. They don't post on here and was interested to get the general feel from other NQTs.
  8. I have been largely left alone and told that this is because they are very happy with me. Given how busy we all are in department it is pretty much impossible to find the time to meet on too regular a basis, I am lucky in that my mentor would always have time with me should I need it, he is a great chap and a brilliant boss. I think some NQTs expect a lot of attention and in reality the time for that is not easily found. As for checking books, outside of scheduled observations I can't think why the mentor would do this? I would be pretty worried if mine started asking to see the books out of the blue!

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