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Advice for a New NQT Mentor
5

CaroleBaskinsDeadHusband · 25/06/2020 07:18

I’m going to be mentoring an NQT for the first time from September! We’re in one of the ‘Early Roll Out’ areas for the Early Career Framework and have signed up for the two year programme so our NQT will get the extra 5% release time in her second year and we’ll both get some online training. I’m also going to speak to the deputy head today who’s been a mentor before to get some advice and details of how to register with the local authority. I’ve emailed our NQT to introduce myself and put her in touch with the teacher who’s taught her class this year and I’ve been negotiating with IT to get her laptop organised as that’s been known to take months! I’m in the ‘wider leadership team’ 🙄 so will organise the NQT time for a time I’m not in class and have been thinking about what written information and logins she will need - she’s done some supply with us (pre-Covid) so knows the layout of the building etc - but obviously I don’t want to overload her or make it seem she needs to do lots now as she’s not starting until September. I would appreciate any advice from experienced mentors or past NQTs as to how I can best support.

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PenOrPencil · 25/06/2020 19:46

I would go with don’t overload but give her something useful to do. Even in normal times NQTs complain about the time before the summer hols being wasted time!

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PumpkinPie2016 · 26/06/2020 08:02

I'm in exactly the same position as you Grin I'm secondary though and it sounds like you are primary.

I've emailed my NQT to introduce myself and I am attending some webinars on the ECF in July so that will help me feel prepared.

We sent a questionnaire about his experience as he has only just finished his PGCE and obviously, due to coronavirus, it's been disrupted. That's been helpful as I have a good idea of what specific support he will need straight away.

I'm going to arrange a zoom meeting with him to go through his timetable and send him schemes of work. Made sure he could log on to the system so that he can access resources.

I feel sorry for him as he was interviewed online during lockdown so he hasn't even been inside our (very large!) building and with only one INSET day in September before the kids arrive it will be daunting. I help to write the department timetable and we have made sure he is in one room so that he doesn't have to run around finding classrooms!

I'm really looking forward to being an NQT mentor as I have enjoyed mentoring trainees before. I'm just racking my brains thinking about what he will absolutely need to know for September so that he isn't overwhelmed with information and also keeping in mind that he may need more support than usual in the first term because of the disruption we have had.

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partystress · 27/06/2020 23:03

You will get lots of specific mentor training as part of the ECF. That will help you know how best to help her improve her teaching skills. You might find though that the formal side of all that doesn't kick in until three or four weeks into term.

The things that are less tangible, but vital, to support with are the unspoken rules (the things people will tut at but nobody ever actually tells you about!), how to get things done (eg photocopying , ordering a school lunch if you forget), helping to make connections around school if she's on the reserved side, and making sure she takes a break and eats lunch.

If you can be available for a couple of specified days in the holidays to answer questions or look at things she's doing to get ready, that will help reassure her she's not alone. Letting her know what will already have been done before the year starts (eg have her books been labelled, will she have a stationery supply?) and any other practical tips that will save her unnecessary prep work.

And keep an eye out early on. If she's going adrift, it is far easier to help her get back on track sooner than later Eg if she's doing stupidly detailed marking, or not getting through enough readers, or children getting let out late. And also you can then catch her doing good and find lots to praise Smile

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catatemymind · 29/06/2020 08:03

Be clear, patient and kind. One of the most challenging things for me as an NQT was people just saying 'oh can you do xyz' casually and me having no idea what that was! Show them how things are done physically, let them watch you plan/teach and explain what you're doing and why. It's a lot to take in. Also, if they make mistakes, then don't react negatively, as mistakes are so important for learning (as I'm sure you know, but it's sometimes hard not to get frustrated with someone when you're also stressed, but it pays off in the long run). Good luck!!!

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catatemymind · 29/06/2020 08:04

and as a PP has said - the little things. Things that we as teachers might do automatically (how to set up classroom, marking policy etc) and forget that someone coming in blind will have no idea about.

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