I have a student starting a week today. I’ve never had one before and I’m a little worried about everything going smoothly. I want to be a good mentor; I’m not so far from my teacher training that I don’t remember it and I did not have a good experience with my first mentor for several reasons and I don’t want to be like that.
I have hundreds of things buzzing in my head about it at the moment and I know it’ll be good for my professional development. Here are my main three concerns (any advice gratefully received!!):
1. How do I give honest, constructive feedback?
I’m not very good at asserting myself and telling people things they don’t want to hear. Even at parents’ evenings this is something I have yet to achieve. I know how to do it; presenting as a what went well and what could be improved, I just need to be able to do it with confidence and to believe in what I’m saying (I’m good at doubting myself – have I got something wrong, is the problem me, am I being too critical etc).
2. What’s it like being on show constantly?
I hate the pressure of being observed as it is, I get extremely nervous so how do I cope when it’s someone watching me all the time looking for examples of good practice? I would like to think I’m a good teacher but I’m not sure that’s always true. I don’t want to set a bad example!
3. How do I let go of control?
I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I really like to know what’s going on in my classroom. My lessons are usually planned to the nth detail purely for my own piece of mind. So how do I let a student take over the classroom, to introduce new rules and ways for the children to work? How do I know when/if to step in if things aren’t working? I don’t want to undermine them but at the same time I don’t want to leave it if things are wrong. How do you strike a balance?
I have loads more questions but these are the main ones. The student I’m having is a 3rd year BEd, so hopefully fairly competent by this stage, although I know it’s not guaranteed, I do want to trust that she’ll do a good job and that I’m worrying over nothing (I do tend to do that!)