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Mentor Training

This is Newingate's Mentor Training Professional Development for all mentors to undertake.

Please work through each of the activities in order to complete your mentor training.

Part 1: An introduction to Mentoring

In this section we will explore what mentoring is and the most important skills needed to be an effective mentor.

Activity 1: Reasons to Mentor

Watch the video below that captures motivations and inspiration to act as a mentor.

After watching this - make a note of your own motivations to mentor.

Activity 2: What is Mentoring?

Take a few moments to think about what being a mentor, or mentoring, means to you.

You may choose to note down specific words or phrases.

Try and pull these together into a simple definition - this will be your initial working definition of mentoring.  This may evolve after time and even throughout these professional development activities.

Activity 3: Skills for Mentoring

Click on the PowerPoint slides below which are a set of cards.  You may decide to print them off or just use these for reference.

Each card contains a skill required for mentoring.

Produce a Diamond 9 with these cards by following the guidance below.

The question is:

What are the most important skills for a mentor to possess in order to be an effective mentor?

Note - there is no right answer and do not over think this...it is just an opportunity for you to critically think about the skills you need to be an effective mentor.

Screenshot 2023-11-13 at 19.51.16.png

Activity 4: Newingate School Mentoring Handbook

The Newingate School Mentoring Handbook is an overview of the key elements of mentoring and has been designed to support your practice as a mentor.

Please take time to read this by clicking on the handbook, below.

We will explore each area in more depth in Part 2 and 3 of this training and development.

Screenshot 2023-11-13 at 20.08.07.png

Part 2: A Guide to Mentoring

In Part 2, we will identify the core elements of effective mentoring and how to establish a mentor-mentee relationship.

The topics covered build upon the sections of the mentor handbook.

Activity 1: Definitions and Purposes of Mentoring

In the mentoring handbook (p2) there are three definitions of mentoring:

“A structured, sustained process for supporting professional learners through significant career transitions” (CUREE, 2005, p.3)

 

“Being concerned with ‘growing an individual’, both professionally and personally.  It is linked with professional and career development, and is somewhat characterised by an ‘expert-novice’ relationship” (Lord et al, 2008, p.10)

 

“Mentoring describes a relationship in which a more experienced colleague shares their greater knowledge to support the development of an inexperienced member of staff” (CIPD, 2021, p.2).

Read each of these.

Which definition most resonates with you?

Why do you think this is?

If one specifically chimes with you, adopt this as your working definition of mentoring.

If you, however, like different elements from two or indeed all definitions, consider coming up with your own definition of mentoring and note this down - this can be your working definition.

If that is what mentoring is, what is its purpose?  

Mentoring takes a lot of time and energy for both the mentor and mentee, and a lot of investment from the organisation.

If this is the case then you may wonder why mentoring is worth doing.

Read this article, that highlights the benefits and purpose of mentoring. 

 

The article is written from the perspective of a private organisation.  Think about how each of the benefits and purposes apply to your school setting.

Activity 2: Benefits of Mentoring

There are many benefits of mentoring, both for the mentee (the person being mentored) and the mentor (the person doing the mentoring).  

Watch the video (below) that captures the general impacts and benefits of mentoring as told by Austin Stanford in his 2018 TEDx talk, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

Mentoring brings benefits to both the mentee and the mentor.  The table below suggests some of these benefits:

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 08.56.00.png

Listen to the podcast below, where Harriet shares the benefits of being mentored.

matt-botsford-OKLqGsCT8qs-unsplash.jpg

Read the blog, below where early career teachers explore their experiences of being mentored.  

Whilst this focuses on ECTs, the benefits of mentoring apply to people in all roles and at all stages of their career.

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 09.25.39.png

Activity 3: Ethics of Mentoring

Watch the short video that summarises the ethics for mentoring.

Think about each area of ethics discussed.  How do you maintain these within your mentoring practice?

Read this summary, produced by The University of Southampton on the ethics of mentoring.

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 09.33.40.png

Consider how well you apply each of the guidelines in the document.

Download the form below, RAG rate each of the guidelines, as instructed on the form.

Then add a target for each of the guidelines.

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 09.38.11.png

Choose one guideline to practice or undertake within your next mentoring session/meeting.

Keep embedding these guidelines into your practice referring back to your RAG rating document.

Activity 4: Planning Your Mentoring

A mentoring relationship has 4 distinct phases which are shown in the diagram below.

The majority of the time across the mentoring relationship will be across the progression phase - as this is in effect the mentoring sessions.

Building rapport and setting direction as well as winding up are far shorter in length.

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 09.44.52.png

Watch the video below (from the start through to 10.57mins) that explores, in detail, the first mentoring session and has some great ideas and frameworks to help you plan for your first session.

 

The focus for this video is the medical profession, although the core ideas can be applied to education.

Using the information from the video, complete the planning for, and undertake an initial mentor meeting.

Completing the template below (this template can be used for all your initial mentor meetings). 

 

You can pre-populate some of this and then the remainder will be completed during the session.

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 09.51.55.png

For subsequent mentor meetings, the template below can be used. 

 

This will help to frame your planning and capture the key points from the mentor session.

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 09.58.00.png

Part 3: Developing as a Mentor

In Part 3, we will build upon the basics and consider the skills required for effective mentoring, the frameworks that support mentoring, how to be a reflective mentor and assess the impact of your mentoring practice. 

 

The topics covered build upon the sections of the mentor handbook.

Activity 1:  Frameworks and Models for Mentoring

In the mentoring handbook, you will see two common frameworks that are used, usually in coaching.

These frameworks (or models) help to structure coaching or mentoring sessions and give shape to these.

There is no preferred, or superior, model.  Use the model that works for you and that also fits the situation.  As you grow in confidence, you may decide to merge or adapt models when it suits to ensure you are meeting the needs of the mentee.

In this activity we will look at the two models in the handbook; GROW and CLEAR and also introduce a third model; FUEL.

The GROW Model

The GROW model was devised by John Whitmore in the late 1980s and is seen as one of the most effective and popular coaching (mentoring) models.   

 

The GROW model supports problem solving, goal-setting and performance improvement and is a simple yet effective structure to support your mentoring and coaching conversations.  

The GROW model is shown below

Screenshot 2023-11-16 at 09.26.25.png

Find out a little more about the GROW model and how to apply it by watching the video below:

If using the GROW model in your mentoring sessions you will find this list of GROW questions useful.

The CLEAR Model

The CLEAR model was devised by Peter Hawkins in the early 1980s, and sees the mentor/coach intervening to act as a catalyst and guide to an employees development.

 

The CLEAR model is primarily used for goal-focussed coaching and mentoring conversations.  

The CLEAR model is shown below

Screenshot 2023-11-16 at 09.36.49.png

The video below, by Manchester university, explains each element of the CLEAR model.

The FUEL Model

The FUEL model was devised John Zenger and Kathleen Stinnet (2021) and is devised to achieve behavioural change.  The idea being that the framework will scaffold the challenging of assumptions held by the coach/mentor and coachee/mentee about an issue or goal.

Here the coachee/mentee will identify an issue and with the support of the mentor/coach, will brainstorm possible solutions and develop a plan of action in order to address the issue.

 

The idea is that the coachee/mentee feels in control of the process and conversation. 

The FUEL model is shown below

FUEL model.jpeg

The table below captures some advantages of the FUEL model compared to the GROW model:

Screenshot 2023-11-16 at 09.53.18.png

Coach4Growth.com

Have a think about the model that you feel would most support your mentoring and begin to consider how you will apply this to your sessions to aid with the structure and focus.

Take a model and trial this in your next mentoring session - consider drafting some questions ahead of the session for each element of your chosen model to help support you in the session.

Activity 2:  Developing Essential Skills for Mentoring

Effective mentoring is reliant on the mentor having a range of skills.  These are listed and briefly described within the mentor handbook.  Within this activity we will take a closer look at these skills and consider the skills strengths we have as mentors and those we need to develop further.

Active Listening

Active listening is not only hearing someone but giving undivided attention to the speaker.  This requires intense concentration to all that is being communicated – both verbally and non-verbally (Rogers and Farson, 2015). 

This article by Mind Tools explores active listening in more detail.  Take some time to read and reflect upon this article.

What are the key learning points from this article?

How might you need to develop your own listening skills to become an effective 'active listener'?

Watch the video below, where Simon Sinek considers the 'Art of Listening' (2021).

Effective Questioning

As a mentor you need to carefully think about the questions to ask your mentee.  The questions you ask should enable the mentee to consider, reflect and analyse in order to move their situation forward.

You might find it useful to plan some questions ahead of your mentoring session.

The short video on this webpage  explores how to ask good questions.  Take a look here.

Effective Goal Setting

As part of your mentoring process you, as the mentor, will support your mentee to establish clear goals to move their practice forward.

This article by Forbes, looks at how to set effective goals.  Read this article and consider how to apply these ideas to your mentoring practice.

Goals should always be SMART.  That means that they should be:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time bound

The elements of SMART are outlined in the diagram below:.

Screenshot 2023-11-16 at 10.50.00.png

An example of a SMART goal would be:

To become a mentor within my school setting to support new staff members by undertaking my school's mentor training.  I will complete this online over a period of 12 weeks (two terms) engaging in learning each week on a Wednesday afternoon.

Can you determine how this is SMART?

Why is  the following goal not SMART?

To undertake mentor training by the end of this week.

Effective Signposting

You are not expected to know everything as a mentor. 

 

Be authentic and honest and make it clear to the mentee if you do not know something or are not the best person to talk to about something. 

 

Part of your role is to signpost your mentee to resources and people to support their development.

Typically you might find yourself signposting in the following ways:

  • to personal and professional development and learning opportunities e.g. courses, online learning, podcasts, books, articles and blogs webinars...

  • to policy documents

  • to other colleagues e.g. for conversations, to access expertise or to observe practice

  • to key social media accounts relating to the specific area being explored e.g. LinkedIn, X and Facebook.

  • to personal support for wellbeing e.g. Apps, books, therapies...

Creating Dialogic Conversations

Dialogic teaching is using the power of talk to engage and stimulate thinking in order to enhance understanding and deepen thinking and ideas (Alexander, 2008). 

 

This approach can be applied to mentoring, whereby a combination of effective questioning, active listening, and focused discussion, come together to enable the mentee to explore ideas at a greater depth, perhaps challenging their own assumptions and knowledge in order to move their learning forwards.

If you are unfamiliar with the idea of dialogic teaching you may want to watch the video below:

Encouraging Mentees to be Autonomous

Autonomy in terms of mentoring is essentially the degree to which the mentee perceives they have control over their choices and actions. 

When a mentee feels they have autonomy, their sense of motivation, satisfaction and engagement in relation to their work, learning and professional development is increased.

When a mentee feels they have autonomy over the mentoring process they are more likely to invest in and be committed to the mentoring process and show a greater investment in achieving the established goals.  This, in turn, leads to a greater level of success and a sense of achievement for the mentee.

So what is the role of the mentor?

In encouraging the mentee to become autonomous, the mentor plays a crucial role in guiding and supporting the mentee using the skills we have already explored e.g. listening, questioning and signposting.  Essentially, the mentor scaffolds the process for the mentee, and the mentee makes their own choices and decisions.

In addition to scaffolding, a mentor will also need to support the mentee when they are struggling or make mistakes.  Here the mentor will offer 'space' for a reflective conversation. 

Another key element of developing autonomy is the provision of constructive feedback.  It is important that a mentor takes time to offer honest, supportive and constructive feedback to their mentee that allows them to reflect and grow.  Here is it important to discuss the feedback rather than simply 'telling' the mentee what they need to do.  The discussion must include not only what they need to do/improve but how they can do this.  Through such constructive feedback, the mentee is scaffolded to develop their own probelm-solving skills and is able to build confidence alongside competence. (Mentor Loop, 2023)

Role Modelling 

A mentor acts as a role model for their mentee and in doing so, models the following:

  • Models a positive attitude - demonstrating the behaviours and attitudes that are needed to be successful within the profession.  A mentor will uphold the values of the setting which are demonstrates in their behaviours and working practices.

  • Set a good example - it is important as a mentor to set a good example - this links to being a role model.  A mentor will learn a lot not only from your conversations but by watching you in and around the school.

  • Patience and tolerance - demonstrate that mistakes are an opportunity for learning and growth rather than an opportunity to blame, get upset or frustrated or indeed to see oneself as a failure. Key to this is the development of psychological safety - creating an atmosphere whereby the mentee can bring their authentic self to the relationship and process.

  • Respect - mentors should be respected by colleagues as well as show respect for their colleagues.  

  • An inclusive approach - ensuring everything they do is inclusive and constantly reflecting upon how equality and equity can be achieved.  Here a mentor will always consider aspects such as accessibility within their mento sessions. (Mentor Loop, 2023)

Reflection

As a mentor, you need to support and scaffold opportunities for your mentee to effectively reflect upon their professional practice in order to be able to identify where their strengths lie and where they need to develop.

It is also important for yourself, as a mentor, to regularly reflect upon your own practice, and specifically your mentoring approaches and skills.

We will explore reflective practice in more detail in the next activity.

Activity 3:  Becoming a Reflective Mentor

As mentioned in the previous activity, engaging in reflective practice is important for both yourself, as a mentor, and your mentee.  

In this activity we will explores some reflective frameworks to support this process . We will also explore the concept of journalling.

Take a moment to read this short article that explores what reflective practice is and the benefits of it.

Reflective Frameworks

There are a range of different reflective frameworks that exist to support the process of reflection.  Below we explore a few of these:

Schon (1991) reflection in action/Reflection on action

Schon's simple reflective model comprises of two elements:  

Reflection in action - whereby you will be reflecting on something as it happens and potentially altering your approach or behaviour as a result. E.g. you reflect that your approach to questioning is not really working within your mentoring session and make the decision to change your approach for the remainder of the session.

Reflection on action - is when you reflect on something after the event has happened e.g. reflecting on the structure of a mentoring session after the session has ended.

The table below highlights this model:

Screenshot 2023-11-17 at 11.38.31.png

(University of Hull, n.d)

Gibbs' Reflective Cycle (1988)

Unlike Schon's reflective model, Gibbs' model has clear stages of reflection starting with a description of the event and leading through to conclusions being drawn that inform an action plan to inform future similar events or practice.

It is important to work through the stages of the cycle in order to best realise the impact of reflection.

Gibbs' Reflective Cycle is shown below:

Screenshot 2023-11-17 at 11.45.27.png

(StructuralLearning.com)

Take a few moments to watch this short video that explains Gibbs' Reflective Cycle:

Brookfield's 4 Lenses (2005)

This reflective model was specifically designed for teaching and encourages the teacher (mentee) to explore their practice through four different lenses: their own autobiography as teachers and learners, their students' eyes, the experiences of their colleagues and what the educational literature says.

 

Brookfield (2005) makes the assumption that is teachers are more reflective then they are better placed to make reliable judgements about pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and how they respond to learner issues (University of Hull, n.d).

Brookfield's Four Lenses is shown below:

Screenshot 2023-11-17 at 12.02.31.png

(IrisConnect, 2023)

Find out more about Brookfield's framework by watching this short video:

You may also find this video that explore critical reflection useful:

When choosing a reflective framework, it is important to remember that there is no 'better' framework but that different frameworks suit different people and that different frameworks suit different situations.  Therefore, you may find yourself choosing to use different frameworks depending on the reflection you are undertaking and how you feel.

Reflective Journalling

A reflective journal is a place to write down daily or weekly reflections on key events within your practice.

You can use a reflective journal to help you understand and work through the things that have happened, reflect upon why they have happened, to identify lessons learned and identify actions for the future and to get your thoughts out of your head.

 

The diagram below provides a framework to support your reflective writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-17 at 12.29.46.png

(Journey Cloud, n.d)

It is important to set aside time to reflect yet at the same time, it is important if journalling, not to feel this as an additional pressure.  There are no set rules about how often you should write things down in your reflective journal, use this to support and not hinder your reflection.

As you get more confident and competent in reflection, you will be able to visualise a reflective model of choice and undertake reflection whilst out walking or in the car.

As you build reflection into your professional practice you will begin to see the positive impacts of this practice.

Activity 4:  Assessing the Impact of Mentoring

It is important to assess the impact of your mentoring.  There are various ways to do this and we will explore some of these in this activity.

Firstly, it is important to understand how impact can be measured in terms of both qualitative and quantitative data.

Quantitative data is data that can be measured numerically e.g. % of respondents that said X and can potentially be displayed in a table, chart or graph.

Qualitative data is any data that is not numerical such as responses to an interview whereby perceptions and opinions are gained through a dialogic approach (either written or verbal).

You can measure the impact of mentoring using both quantitative and qualitative data.  Here are some ways.

 

Surveys

You can devise a short survey for your mentee to engage with perhaps at the outset, in the middle and at the end of your mentoring sessions.

 

You may include in the survey a range of questions that relate to the purpose of the mentoring e.g. gaining in confident, knowledge or skills.

 

Scales

You can use a simple scale to assess feelings or interpretations of confidence and competence.  These can be stand alone or embedded within a survey.

 

An example of a happiness scale can be seen below - these can be adapted to different feeling, knowledge and skills.

Screenshot 2023-11-17 at 12.56.30.png

(Citizens Journal, 2022)

Interviews

You can conduct informal interviews with your mentee at intervals throughout the mentoring process gaining their thoughts and feelings on the impacts of the mentoring. 

 

Gathering Feedback

Feedback can be gathered via email or in other written form and this can indicate impact.  Ask for feedback pre and/or post session as to the mentor's experience.  This will help you to develop your practice and respond effectively to the needs of the mentee, which in the longer term will enable greater impact.

Measuring Performance

The impact of mentoring can be seen through the changes and development in the mentees professional practice through observations of their teaching and learning practice, the student outcomes and work etc.  

Outcomes

Measure the outcomes of any goals set e.g. if a goal is to complete a course, to gain a promotion... then a measurement of impact will be whether the established goal/s were achieved.

The best approach to assessing impact, is of course, to use a variety of methods of data collection as this allows you to triangulate (gathering a range of data sources) your data and draw robust conclusions.

Congratulations for completing your mentor training!

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