We teach well when: 

We are confident.

 We are enthusiastic.

 We are supported.

 

Confidence comes from knowing our subject matter.

  Enthusiasm is born of our desire to see all students flourish.

 Support comes in the form of encouragement, coaching and mentoring by experienced teachers.

Supported and confident teachers stay teaching longer and improve student achievement and engagement.

Mentoring has always been a valuable practice in education but we had other names for it:

  • The teacher down the hall
  • The staffroom
  • Friday night drinks
  • Sharing

It can be hard for school leadership to manage all the different aspects of professional development for staff so We Teach Well has come up with a solution. 

We will provide all the documents and forms that you need to run goal setting and reflection sessions in house. We will provide notes and simple but detailed steps for you to implement.

Online mentoring is particularly useful when it is part of a wider school initiative and by running the sessions this way the school can more easily fit them into the schedule.

You will be provided with detailed instructions on how the material can be used, either by a single department or by the whole school. It would be a perfect tool for whole school PD days as staff could still be divided into faculties or departments. We like to keep things flexible while providing quality, useful professional development.

 

Include a We Teach Well Mentoring and Coaching program as part of a high quality, successful professional development strategy.

Confidentiality

Effective coaching and mentoring rely on a relationship of trust. Teachers in the program need to know that their mentoring sessions are confidential, within the parameters of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Confidentiality can be even harder when the mentoring relationships are completely in school. We all know how dynamic and pressurised schools can be and sometimes it is difficult remembering who is supposed to know things. It is essential for both the mentor and mentee to protect the mentoring relationship.

Research has consistently found that new teachers experience a range of benefits from quality mentoring relationships, including emotional support, increased confidence, improved self-reflection, problem solving capabilities and the development of classroom management practices and norms.

Hobson, A. J., Ashby, P., Malderez, A., & Tomlinson, P. D. (2009). Mentoring beginning teachers: What we know and what we don’t. Teaching and teacher education, 25(1), 207-216

It is not only new teachers who benefit from mentoring and coaching. Experienced teachers who are trying to incorporate new ideas and methods into their classroom have been shown to benefit from a short series of mentoring sessions.

The Purpose

Facilitating improvement in teaching and learning is the objective of any effective mentoring relationship in education. Like effective teaching, effective mentoring is explicit (not incidental), evidence-based (not anecdotal) and collaborative (not isolated). 

We are still gathering information about what to include in this pack. We want teachers and administrators to drop us a line and tell us what they think should be included. 

Watch this space.

Goals and Objectives

The needs of teachers are diverse and dependent on context. A teacher’s personal disposition and skill level can vary, as can their concerns about teaching and their career aspirations. Added to this are the particular challenges that each school, student cohort or class can pose. 

However, the primary goals in any mentoring program for teachers needs to be around teaching and learning. Improved engagement and outcomes for students is at the heart of teaching. Activities to achieve this can include:

  1. Increase professional growth through planning and goal setting.
  2. Increase problem solving capacity through discussion and sharing pedagogy.
  3. Increase confidence in professional conversations through understanding subject specific pedagogy.
  4. Connect with current research in the field of education.
  5. Articulate a sound understanding of pedagogy and practice.

Program Format

The packs will certainly include templates for goal setting and reflection. There will be detailed information drawn from current education research and suggested ways of implementing the material.

Office Hours:  Teachers who are undertaking any program with us will have access to our fortnightly office hours via Zoom/Skype. They are invited to ask questions and engage in discussions.

 

Include a We Teach Well Mentoring and Coaching program as part of a high quality, successful professional development strategy.

Understandings

This program is created to support and promote both the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

We Teach Well endorses wholeheartedly the idea that supporting a teacher’s professional growth is the best way to ensure that all students become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active, informed citizens. *

As previously mentioned, the mentor will model and support the standards of professional knowledge, professional practice, and professional engagement as set out by the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. (APST) However, mentoring and coaching sessions are confidential. 

*Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework. p.3

School Responsibility

The Framework requires that teacher performance and development processes and goals should reflect the overall approach to teaching and learning within a school and should be consistent with the school plans. Alignment to school plans and school-wide approaches to professional learning are particularly important. 

The Framework aims to promote genuine professional conversations that improve teaching and minimise the risk that administrative and bureaucratic requirements will become the focus. 

We Teach Well will be available for consultations with clients.

Evaluation

Client evaluation of the program will be sought and appreciated.

The core criteria for all We Teach Well mentoring and coaching programs are taken from the Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders.

Has the professional learning program:

  • Informed practice and pedagogy.
  • Been relevant, collaborative and future focused. 
  • Assisted the teachers and schools  to modify practice in response to student needs.
  • Clarified for the teachers and administrations the importance of professional learning networks and communities of practice.
  • Demonstrated that evidence of practice can and should be collected from a variety of sources.
  • Built the confidence of the teachers as valued professionals.