Today my stint as a mentor teacher came to an end. It was awesome to see someone grow in both confidence and their practice and it wasn't until I had a conversation with a colleague that they pointed out that this growth was for me as well. Personally I think I should have waited another year before offering to be a mentor however as my colleague discussed with me, the insight into my current practice was invaluable for not only the remainder of the year, but my continued teaching practice.
As I reflected, I found this blog post that helped me articulate how the experience had helped me grow as both an individual and a teacher.
I learned that I am a bit of a control freak! I am one of those 'details' type of people who will often get entrenched in the daily grind to stop to ask those 'why' type questions that open up to the blue sky/ocean way of thinking. I have noticed that this has come back a bit more this year where I default to the "yes but..." type responses when listening to others and need to remind myself to continue to listen with purpose.
Having another adult teach alongside me helped me understand the importance of relationships with the kids. Through discussion, I found myself learning more about the kids as we analysed why some lessons did or did not work for particular learners and while observing lessons, it was able to give me more insights into how I could adapt my practice to better suit the needs of the kids I am working with.
I learned to make learning more fun again - again me getting caught up in the details and with Term 2 having a lot of focus on assessment, I wasn't enjoying how I was planning or some of the outputs from my planning and I can bet the kids were feeling the same way too! Observing lessons where the kids got to be creative or try new things has inspired me to continue to push this inquisitive nature of my practice as well as realising that it is ok for me to learn alongside the kids more so. Stay tuned for how Term 3 is going to turn out - I am looking forward to it!
So thank you to AUT for allowing me the opportunity to test out the mentor role - I got a lot out of the experience!