Individualised Coaching and Mentoring Programme for English teachers
This process is designed to provide a personalized professional development programme for teachers.
The first phase of the programme is a round of classroom observations. Each observation usually lasts from 45 to 60 minutes. Each teacher then receives oral and written feedback. The feedback session usually lasts between 30 to 60 minutes and involves highlighting positive aspects seen in the lesson and comments and advice on any aspects that could be improved. Teachers are also encouraged to reflect critically on their teaching. The teacher also receives a follow up email which is a summary of the oral feedback and a list of points to work on as well as guidance on where to find useful resources.
While observing a teacher, I am primarily looking for how effective the teacher is and if there is evidence of learning in the lesson. This involves assessing the teacher’s skills in the following areas:
- Preparation and planning
- Classroom and behaviour management
- Teaching Techniques
- Error correction and feedback techniques
- Interpersonal skills
- Teacher’s use of English
Once all, or at least a majority, of the teachers in any centre or region have been observed, I then design training workshops for them. The number of workshops is open to discussion, but a half day (three hours) of a full-day (six hours) is usual for any given group of teachers. Two half days instead of one full day is also possible. The training is designed to address any deficiencies or weaknesses which were noticed during the observation as well to demonstrate alternative classroom tasks and activities.
A few months later, I observe the teachers again to monitor progress and give feedback again. Further workshops can be designed if necessary. This process can be repeated every year. The value of the workshops is that they are specifically tailored to the needs of the groups of teachers who have been observed. It is important that the feedback I give the teachers is confidential and not shared with managers. I realise that some managers have a problem with this aspect, but it really is necessary. First of all, I am not the teachers' line manager and I am not assessing them for performance. I am a freelance consultant and I am there to support their professional development. Secondly, for any kind of mentoring or coaching to be useful, the subject has to trust the mentor/coach and must know that the relationship is confidential. However, I can write a general report for the company management, highlighting strengths and areas of the team as a whole, but no individual names would be included in this.
In summary, the system is as follows: