I’ve been privileged enough to be a mentor for the University of Nottingham History PGCE for the last couple of years, but have been asking to be part of the programme for many years as I have seen the fantastic work the University has done in supporting the local teaching community through their History Subject Interest Group.
As an established teacher, this has allowed me to access recent scholarship through the experts that the University invites in and keep up to date with my subject knowledge. Through this I’ve also been able to invite experts into school to talk to my students, due to my contact with the University, through the PGCE mentor programme.
Allowing student teachers to take lessons has also meant that we have learnt new ways of teaching material that we have taught in the same way for many years, as they try different techniques and are willing to be more creative in their approach, which can helps us develop our practice.
Being a mentor can be handwork and time- consuming, but it and my connection with Nottingham University is also fulfilling and rewarding. It allows a local teaching community to develop, with links between established and beginning teacher, sharing ideas and techniques.