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Teacher Development: What can new and experienced teachers learn from each other?

One of the best ways for new and experienced teachers to integrate, sharing their collective experiences, is through mentoring. New teachers can have feelings of doubt and are at pains to admit mistakes they might make. When you enter a new profession it is easy to panic when you think you have made an error in judgment, leading to fear and unnecessary embarrassment.

Experienced teachers have been through this tough early stage and, when teamed with a new teacher, can alleviate the pressure, provide assurance that simple mistakes are common in the early stages of a teaching career and impart invaluable experience.

Mentoring is not about assessing, criticising or highlighting mistakes, it is about supporting and encouraging. Quality support provided at the start of a career not only helps a new teacher, the nurturing nature of the relationship translates to the classroom and the mentoring relationship becomes a natural part of the teacher/pupil dynamic.

Mentors help to build confidence in new teachers, to develop into well-rounded teaching professionals that enjoy long, rewarding careers and who will in turn, become mentors to other newly qualified teachers as their own career progress.

Teachers newly qualified and experienced, all have skills, lessons, and knowledge that can be shared for the benefit of teachers and students. Working together, being mentors and sharing advances in technology, all contribute to a harmonious and forward-thinking professional environment.

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