The value of coaching and mentoring

Staff development network

Dr Mark Dowley May 15th, 2024 · 2min read

This week, we are looking at an article by Professor Rachel Lofthouse. Professor of Teacher Education at the Centre for Coaching, Mentoring and Professional Learning. The article discusses how coaching and mentoring can help teachers thrive at work.

Key points

  • We need a workforce of teachers who can be their best selves, use their knowledge, talents and humanity to great effect, and feel that not only are they financially secure but also intellectually challenged and rewarded through the quality of the work that they do and the opportunities that they have to flourish.
  • Teachers need to be career-long learners and for this to happen, they need access to teacher education, not just teacher training.
  • The heart of professional learning is mentoring, coaching, action research or lesson study.
  • Teachers can articulate their dilemmas and ideas and share their achievements, ideally through internal and external networks, but often starting in one-to-one conversations with peers, coaches or mentors. They also need to invite critique to ensure that their ideas and evidence are reviewed with an informed perspective and to critique the work of others with a generous spirit.

Read the full article

What you can do

  • Think of your school as a place where teachers work to get better at teaching. Not just a place where they teach.
  • Create time and space for conversation about teaching and learning. Key questions could be:
  1. What does a great starting routine look like?
  2. How do you gain the attention of 100% of the class?
  3. When was the last time you watched video footage of yourself teaching?

Create a curriculum for teachers in your school. Think deeply about what teachers need to know and be able to do and create structures to help them learn and practise these skills.

Happy coaching,

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