Mentoring A New Teacher
The last year or so has seen me become more interested in the wider business of teaching, not simply working on constantly polishing my own practice. So I'm really pleased to announce that this year I'll be mentoring a new entrant to the profession via the LitDrive Mentoring Programme.
Whilst it's heartening to see record numbers of applicants to join teaching at the moment, one thing I'm very conscious of is how hard a profession it is in the first few years, and it's tempting to wonder if this reflects the wider job market rather than a widespread newfound vocation in our young people. It's startling, and should be sobering, to realise that around a third of new teachers leave the profession - NOT simply changing schools - within five years. (Nation Federation for Education Research (NFER), 2017). At the other end, numbers of teachers who make it to retirement age still working in schools are dropping alarmingly too.
It is, simply, a very demanding job.
But at the moment I'm more concerned about these new entrants. This year in particular, with disruption to teacher training, Twitter's been awash with NQTs (Newly Qualified Teachers) concerned about how September will pan out for them. Talking about the first few years, Jack Worth of NFER states:
These are the critical years where the right opportunities, nurture and support can make or break a career in teaching.
I couldn't agree more. Coaching and mentoring is closely related to the day job we do for our students; it seems a natural progression for me to volunteer to help someone into the job. I'm really looking forward to being a sounding board, critical friend, sympathetic ear, and generally assisting in any way I can.
'Latest teacher retention statistics paint a bleak picture for teacher supply in England' (Jack Worth, NFER website, 20 June 2018)