The Mentoring System: Introduction

Teacher training is an essential part of teaching a foreign language. Keeping this in mind, Department of Basic English provides its instructors with an opportunity to improve themselves as teachers during their first year. The Teacher Education Unit (TED) employed an in-service teacher training system, some years ago, which involved several trainers' holding sessions, observing lessons, having pre- and post-observation meetings with trainees, and assessing the overall professional development of the teacher through a final jury-observation.

However, with the changing demands of professional life, the TED Unit was also renewed in the 2009-2010 academic year, thanks to the great work of Jade Trust. :) What she has planned to achieve and she did achieve in the new mentoring system is to create an opportunity for a more supportive and reflective environment of teacher training. In this multi-dimensional atmosphere, not only the trainers, but also the teachers are involved in the training process.

Now, we'd like to give you an idea about how this system works. One of our mentors, Münire Vecdi, describes the system as follows: "This mentoring system involves the trainer unit that holds sessions for mentors and mentees, and numerous classroom and staffroom mentors. It may sound a bit complicated but basically, the new mentoring system can be defined as follows: We have two types of mentors at our department: staffroom and classroom mentors. Basically, the first type of mentors, classroom mentors, are visited by mentees to observe their lessons for a specific aspect in their teaching experience that might benefit them in their own classroom. They learn from this shared experience. The second type of mentors, staffroom mentors guide the mentees through academia, administrative issues, preparation for observations and their integration into the department’s culture."

In order to better analyze the positive sides and the drawbacks of the new mentoring system, we have asked a few questions to some of those who undertook the responsibility of being a mentor and to those who were trained as mentees during the last academic year. Their responses will self-evaluate the system and our readers will have a chance to compare and contrast the two systems.


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