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Mentoring and Coaching in Schools: How to do it

In the fast-moving world of education, teachers need support. They need someone to help them stay updated with new teaching practices, curriculum and technology so they can provide the best learning environment for their students. Coaching and mentoring in schools is a great way to do that. This article will look at how coaching and mentoring in schools can be used to support teachers and improve student performance.

Mentoring and coaching are two of the most effective forms of support for teachers. Both are built on trust and a desire to see someone succeed, but they have different focuses.

Mentoring and coaching have become popular methods of support for staff in the education sector. Given the challenging nature of work in schools, combined with high teacher turnover and tight performance management systems, mentoring and coaching have emerged as useful support structures.

The same principles that apply to mentoring in any industry also apply to mentoring in schools. That is, it’s important to build a trusting relationship between mentor and protégé, create a safe space where the protégé can be honest about their challenges and fears, listen actively without judgment or criticism, provide guidance where needed and trust the protégé will take action on the feedback.

However, there are some unique challenges unique to working in schools that you should be aware of if you’re considering this as a support method for staff at your organization.

Coaching is focused primarily on the present, whereas mentoring has a longer-term lens.

Both can be great supports in any teacher’s career and can help them grow in their role, hone their skills, and thrive as professionals.

However, keeping good mentors and coaches can be difficult in a busy school environment with numerous other demands on your time. Read on to learn more about why you should mentor or coach if you’re an educator (or want to be one), what effective mentoring programs look like, how you can find a mentor or coach, and how to become an effective mentor or coach yourself.

In education, mentoring relationships can play a vital role in helping new teachers navigate their first years in the classroom, supporting teacher growth over the course of their career, and providing advice and insight that comes from experience.

Mentoring refers to relationship where more experienced professionals( eg school principals) share their skills and knowledge with less experienced individuals.

Types of mentoring structure – Formal &Informal

Formal structures include performance observation & feedback, policies concerning teacher’s probation and registrations

Informal include the development of learning communities, professional learning & informal peer observations & appraisals.

In Shanghai & Singapore as teachers progress in their profession, they must serve as mentors & trainers. Some provide mentoring subject wise others may go for general pedagogical techniques

What is coaching?

Coaching is a relationship between two people, where one person(the coach) helps the other person (the coachee) reach their goals and become the best version of themselves.

Coaching is focused primarily on the present moment and working with the coachee to problem solve and find solutions to a current challenge they may be facing. This could be anything from the immediate challenge of managing a classroom or observing and reflecting on that experience to along-term goal of entering a new field.

Coaches are there to support and guide, but they aren’t expected to have all the answers, just a willingness to help the coachee find them. Coaching relationships often take place in one-on-one settings, as well as in team settings where a coach may support multiple people at once.

Because coaching is focused on the present, it can be a powerful tool for helping teachers address challenges in the moment. It can help them think through a situation, find solutions, and learn from the experience, rather than just feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

Coaching is an organizational development strategy that can improve the manager-subordinate relationship. The academic literature reports diverse types of coaching practices, including coaching leadership , executive coaching , and peer coaching .

Why is mentoring and coaching important in schools?

Mentoring and coaching can provide an important source of support for both new and experienced educators and help them thrive in their roles and be their best selves.

Mentoring and coaching relationships can help new teachers find their footing as they adjust to their first years in the classroom and get to know the people and communities they serve, while helping experienced teachers reflect on their practice and build their skill set.

Mentoring and coaching relationships can be especially helpful for teachers who may feel isolated in their role because they can help teachers find that vital support and connection with others outside of their own classroom.

Research has shown that mentoring and coaching are beneficial for both parties, with benefits for both mentors and those they’re mentoring or coaching. Mentoring and coaching relationships can help educators develop new skills, gain valuable insight into their practice, and feel supported in their roles.

Tips for effective mentoring programs

One of the best ways to support teachers is through mentoring programs. Here are some best practices for effective mentoring programs.

Set clear expectations –

What kind of relationships are you looking to encourage between mentors and mentees?

How will you support the relationships?

What do mentors and mentees need from each other?
Establishing clear expectations will help make sure your program is successful and meets the needs of everyone involved.
Provide professional development opportunities for mentors -Some teachers might not have time to be mentors, but still want to give back to the profession and support their colleagues.
Offer opportunities for these educators to get involved in mentoring, but also provide professional development opportunities so mentors have the skills they need to be effective in their role.
Make sure there are mentoring opportunities for all teachers -All teachers deserve to feel supported and have opportunities to receive feedback and advice from more experienced educators. Make sure there are appropriate mentoring opportunities for new and experienced teachers alike.

Tips for effective coaching programs

One of the best ways to support teachers is through coaching programs. Here are some best practices for effective coaching programs.

Select coaches and coachees carefully – You want to make sure that all parties feel supported and challenged by their relationship. Talk to people in your network and find people who might be good mentors or coaches.

Set clear expectations – Coaching is different than mentoring, so it’s important to establish clear expectations of what coaching looks like in your program. What kind of relationship do you want to encourage between coaches and coachees? What do coaches and coachees need from each other? Establishing clear expectations will help make sure your program is successful and meets the needs of everyone involved.

Provide professional development opportunities for coaches -Some educators might not have time to be coaches, but still want to give back to the profession and support their colleagues. Offer opportunities for these educators to get involved in coaching, but also provide professional development opportunities so coaches have the skills they need to be effective in their role.

Coaching relationships often last longer than mentoring relationships, so make sure you have a plan to transition out of the relationship when it’s no longer helpful. Set clear timelines and goals so both the coach and coachee know what they’re working towards and when the relationship will end.

Final words

Mentoring and coaching are both important practices for supporting teachers in schools. They provide much-needed support for both new and experienced educators and can help them develop new skills and reflect on their practice.

When it comes to mentoring and coaching, it’s important to set clear expectations, select the right people to be mentors and coaches, provide professional development opportunities for mentors and coaches, and set timelines for when relationships will end. These practices can help make your mentoring and coaching programs successful and beneficial for all involved.

There are many benefits of having both in the workplace: They give clarity about the future; challenge thinking processes; provide accountability and support; allow for honest feedback from someone not directly supervising us; expand professional networks; inspire confidence; offer fresh ideas and build a trusting relationship.


Mentoring for Career Development Statistics:

Mentoring Statistics: The Research You Need to Know, February 3, 2020 by Nicola Cronin

Mentoring Millennials Statistics:

79% of millennials see mentoring as crucial to their career success

But 63% of millennials say their leadership skills are not being fully developed

49% of millennials would, if they had a choice, quit their current jobs in the next two years

And millennials will comprise more than 75% of the workforce by 2025

Millennials intending to stay with their organisation for more than 5 years are twice as likely to have a mentor than not (68% vs 32%)

Top reasons for millennials wanting to quit are ‘Not enough opportunities to advance’ at 35% and ‘Lack of learning and development opportunities’ at 28%

91% of Millennials consider the potential for career progression as a top priority when choosing a new job

53% of Millennials have been disappointed by a lack of personal development training when starting a new job

Less than 50% of Millennials say they’ve had opportunities at work to learn and grow within the past year

Regardless of gender or geography, only 28% of Millennials feel that their current organisations are making ‘full use’ of the skills they currently have to offer

Only 28% of Millennials would stay at their current job beyond 5 years

93% of millennials find skill development crucial for their career

Mentoring Gen Z Statistics:

76% of Gen Z see learning as the key to their advancement in their careers

83% of Gen Z want to learn skills to perform better in their current position

21% of Gen Z want their boss to have ‘mentoring ability’

64% of Gen Z cited ‘opportunity for career growth’ as a top career priority

73% of Gen Z would like to be taught one on one

77% of Gen Z said that a company’s level of diversity affects their decision to work there

87% of Gen Z wants a job where they are able to learn a lot

82% say it is important that their supervisor helps them establish performance goals

83% of Gen Z wants their supervisors to care about their life

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