Effective mentoring is like cultivating and tending to a garden. It is about creating the right conditions for seedlings to begin to emerge, grow and then through your intervention striking that fine balance between under and over watering, pruning when appropriate and working towards that end goal of growing a strong living organism that is able to be self sustainable and withstand whatever climatic conditions they face.
Two key areas of the effective mentoring that can be evidenced of the NFTS programme are the weekly mentor meetings and lesson observation dialogues taking place. What I wanted to share with you this week is some good examples of detailed feedback in lesson observations that identify both strengths as well as areas of development.
These examples of positive observation feedback are subject specific and clearly identify subject specific pedagogy to the trainee teacher and are aligned to the teaching standards.
The examples presented above are also clearly subject specific and I think as you read these you can get a real sense of the areas identified as developmental. What we particularly like about these targets are that they “do not give the answer” but rather pose the questions to the trainee and allow for the trainees to critically reflect upon the lessons themselves and could form foci for lesson observations being undertaken that week.
An inspirational colleague of mine once said “you water the plants, not the rocks” and there is merit to that statement but in these early stages as the seedlings begin to germinate and grow you may have to look a bit closer between the rocks, check the conditions and continue to cultivate as best as you can.