As opposed to classroom teaching, mentoring works from a different level and at a different pace. During a mentoring session, time is set aside, the panic and rush of the school day diminishes, and the true business of learning, as is relevant to an individual student, begins.
Working with Master Key Mentoring over the last two years, has been a highlight in my career. Master Key Mentoring’s values about education come from a genuine and sincere desire to improve the educational experience of students, to bolster their confidence, and to nurture their self-belief in their own abilities to succeed. To work for this company, and under a Director who is passionate, energised and committed to being the difference, is not only encouraging, but also inspiring. I am a better teacher for it.
As a classroom teacher, I am acutely aware of the significance of relationships and personalised learning in guiding a student to achieve their personal best. However, within the constraints of the traditional classroom environment, and the rigid student to teacher ratios, the ability to execute individualised learning and develop meaningful relationships is difficult, to say the least. As a mentor, I am able to develop a strong learning relationship and rapport with each of my students and, by the very nature of this role, individualised learning and differentiation are put into practice in their most authentic and valid forms.
I am able to experience firsthand, sitting right alongside them, where the gaps in their learning occur.
On a more personal level, I believe my teaching skills and relationships with students have developed significantly since becoming a mentor. Rather than enduring lectures or workshops that inform me about my students’ needs, I am able to experience firsthand, sitting right alongside them, where the gaps in their learning occur. It is a different viewpoint to teach from, and one that permits a deeper insight into what has or has not been constructive for students in the classroom environment. As their mentor, I share the learning space with them and examine assessment, concepts, and knowledge from their perspective. This allows me to see the complexities and obscurities that I may overlook during the demanding pace of classroom teaching – intricacies that a struggling student would be otherwise left to decipher on their own. I find this to be extremely fulfilling on a personal level, as my time, energy, and efforts appear to be more effectively utilised and overall, the improvement to my students’ outcomes is far more discerning.
Mentoring has led me to believe that my skills are highly valued and that they are put into the very best of practise. The additional bonus of being appropriately paid for the time spent with students makes our teaching knowledge seem far more valued and respected. However, ultimately, the awareness that my students receive the best of my teaching practice, rather than exhausted remnants handed out during lunchtimes or after full days of teaching, is one of the finest rewards.
…the awareness that my students receive the best of my teaching practice, rather than exhausted remnants handed out during lunchtimes or after full days of teaching, is one of the finest rewards.