The need for mentorship in the teaching and learning process cannot be over-emphasized. A mentor is a person who guides and directs a mentee by helping him or her develop skills, competencies, or goals. Mentorship is an interactive process that helps individuals acquire teaching skills based on lesson designs, and methods of delivery. It stimulates interests in the subject by motivating students to learn more effectively and efficiently thus improving teacher effectiveness (Metros & Yang, 2006).
There is a need for proper mentorship In the teaching and learning process as this will help the teacher improve his or her teaching efficiencies, which will in turn improve the teaching and learning process. Academic mentors are professionals in skills development. There are also well-trained teachers out there but like the saying goes “learning never ends”.For the teaching and learning process to be effective, skilled and competent teachers who have undergone mentorship are needed. This is because teaching has gone beyond just training students to pass exams to inculcating morals using life experiences and the right teaching methods.
Below are some basic importance of mentorship in the teaching and learning process.
It improves teacher effectiveness.
Teacher effectiveness means the compilation of competencies, behaviors, and characteristics of teachers at all levels of education that help students reach the desired learning outcomes. These outcomes include: being able to solve problems, critical thinking, and attainment of specific learning objectives which will, in turn, help them become effective citizens. Teachers are guided through mentorship to transform their classroom activities by rendering quality teaching using the right teaching methodology, which leads to teaching and learning effectiveness. The educational system has changed and is still changing. Teachers need to develop themselves to meet the slow educational needs. These developments range from knowing the right teaching method to the use of technologies and instructional materials that will aid the teaching and learning process.
Mentorship helps to develop the skills, talent, and potential of the mentee or teacher, thereby giving him or her the right approach to teaching. According to https://scholarworks.umass.edu/esence/304/ the most valued mentoring skill is giving encouragement. This includes giving the mentee or teacher recognition and sincere positive verbal feedback. As mentees are guided, supported, and taught, they transform the way they teach and handle classroom activities. The observations, interactions, and practices they make improve teacher effectiveness. Teachers who are not mentored will continue to teach the same way they were taught in higher institutions which means, they will not be transformed into effective teachers as their classroom practices will not be improved. Every teacher has a unique style or skill which may either be hidden or undeveloped. It is now the duty of a mentor to discover and develop those unique talents and skills, so that they can fit into the teaching and learning environment. Mentoring prepares the teacher for the classroom. It helps them know what to teach and the right approach to use in teaching them. Through this, there will be immense development in the teaching and learning process.
Mentors help mentees to understand that every student varies in uniqueness. Some students understand easily while some need time and patience to understand the topics that are being taught. A teacher who has undergone mentorship will know how to handle these individual differences. He or she will understand their limitations, and change orientations and teaching methods where necessary. This helps to balance shorter-term with longer-term needs.
Innovation involves a different way of looking at problems and solving them. Mentors follow trends and evolutions. They are aware of the changes that often occur in the educational sector and they develop themselves based on these evolutions. Mentorship is very important in this case because they train their mentees or teachers to research, explore and discover something new and useful for their students. Mentors help to translate mentees’ ideas into implementable actions which improve the teaching and learning process.
The concept of professionalism doesn’t mean the teacher’s school qualification but rather their ability to handle the classroom and students professionally. Mentorship trains teachers to become professionals in their field and impact the right knowledge using the right tools,skills instructional materials and teaching methodology.
Teachers who have not undergone mentorship largely use transmission methods of teaching, which lack the 21st Century approach (Nabwire et al., 2015). They place too much emphasis on academic learning and passing examinations at the expense of appropriate knowledge and skills needed for solving real life problems.
There is and will always be a need for mentorship in the teaching and learning process. Every parent wants the best for their children and this includes taking them to a good school with adequate teachers. The educational sector will suffer loss without mentorship as teachers won’t know how to handle students by using the adequate teaching methods, and understanding individual differences.
Most teachers are using mainly teacher-centered approaches instead of learner-centered approaches, and are also administering unplanned tests and assessments to measure learning achievements (UNEB, 2015). Despite the government initiatives to improve the quality of teaching through mentoring, the quality of pedagogy still remains poor.
These teachers lack contemporary teaching skills, knowledge, and strategies, show poor preparation, inadequate teaching quality, and a poor learning environment. Yet through mentoring teacher effectiveness can be transformed into better classroom practices. You can visit our website @ https://mespire.net/ for more academic contents.