Aims of the Mentoring Conversation:
- The aim of the mentoring conversation is to get a clear understanding of the issues faced by a beginning teacher in a classroom handling mathematics for year.
- To provide the right platform for a beginning teacher to professionally get connected with a mentor thereby helping them grow and develop in their career as a new teacher.
- To provide the beginning teachers the right support, guidance and assistance to avoid negative outcomes.
It is very evident that a constructivist mentor the learning curve in the right environment for beginning teachers which helps them to improve their competence level professionally which in turn reflects their work-related behavior, well-being and classroom practice. A comprehensive model of professional competence proposed by Baumert and Kunter is considered to be one of the most effective model which distinguishes between professional knowledge, beliefs, motivational orientation, and self-regulation which helps the mentors to transform the mentees with a different perspective thereby making it into a practice.
The above assumptions which are theoretical given an insight and empirical evidence from student learning, it can be understood or assumed that constructivist principles of mentoring are those which has developments in knowledge, belief, motivation and self-regulation.Though empirical studies have given the facts that mentoring approach though successfully develops professional competence there is an impact of constructivist approach which helps develop the beginning teachers develop professional expertise having a good professional behavior.
To be precise, it was expected that self-regulation supports well-being of teachers and beginning teachers will have a path to be followed. Empirical studies and researches have demonstrated the development, knowledge and skills that has been enhanced for the beginning teachers by mentors guidance. The outcome of research has also demonstrated that mentoring for successful professional competence and development is still lacking.
To help the mentee to reflect on their doings and by guiding them in finding out solutions for their issues, challenges and to make productive plans and guidelines for further useful professional development and performances.
- Can you tell me more on why you chose to teach mathematics for year 1 and what made you interested in taking up the profession of a mathematics teacher?
- How do you intend to start your class?
- What are the issues that you have come across and issues that keep occurring time and again?
- How are you going to make the concepts interesting? What changes will you bring in how the subject is taught which will make the students more interested?
- Why do you do to eliminate the issues that come time and again?
- Being in the teaching profession what do you feel is the best personal attribute that a teacher should possess to have be effective in teaching?
- What are the proudest moments that you have had until now in as a year 1 mathematics teacher?
- From your point of view, how does a successful outcome of a class look like?
- How has/does creativity play/ played a role while teaching in classroom?
- What are the factors that will motivate the students to learn?
- Does maintaining a good rapport with students help in improving the outcomes of the class? If yes/no, please explain.
- How would you like to proceed from here? What help would you need from me in the future?
- Have you tried pairing students?
- How would you describe your experience thus far as a year 1 math teacher?
- Do you want to do something different? What would you like to do?
- What motivates year 1 (age 4-5) students for learning?
- How would you establish a rapport with children which will increase the participation during classroom activities?
- Have you experienced unruly behavior in classrooms (throwing tantrums, erasers, teasing)? How have you reacted and how would you better react in the future?
Mentoring Prompts for the Conversation:
- It is important that mentors act as a guide to their mentees. The mentees should not have the thought that the mentor will find solutions to their problems. The mentor acts as a guide and paves way to the mentee to think about the solutions, help in telling about a few insights from their experience.
- It is necessary to have mutual respect and understanding between the mentor and the mentee. The thoughts and opinions must be purposeful and openness to the to the issues should prevail throughout the mentoring conversation and sessions.
- For a mentee to be open and share their thoughts and opinion the mentor must make the mentee comfortable by listening to the mentee which will help in developing trust and in turn that will help in voicing out their concerns with more ease.
- To have a successful conversation the mentor should prepare questions that addresses the important issues. To do this effectively, the questions a mentor asks should stimulate critical thinking.
- It is required to bring the past, present and the future plans into a mentoring conversation.
- Questions that arouse judgements should be avoided.
- The questions that are framed should be open ended questions which will help the mentee reflect and get clarity on the topic that is being talked about rather being a yes or no question.