Introduction to supporting and mentoring teachers

Find out more about what supporting and mentoring teachers involves. You can also try out some reflective tasks to develop your mentoring skills.

Find out more about what supporting and mentoring teachers involves. You can also try out some reflective tasks to develop your mentoring skills.

1. The purpose of mentoring

Mentoring is a long term relationship that meets a development need, helps develop full potential, and benefits all partners – mentor, mentee and the organisation." 

Suzanne Faure

The purpose of mentoring is to provide support, guidance and advice to teachers to enable them to enhance their teaching skills to develop professionally. Mentoring works best when it is carried out as part of a structured developmental programme. It can involve all or any of the following:

  • identifying developmental needs and interests
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • action planning
  • observing lessons and arranging peer observations
  • reviewing progress
  • coaching, for example, on aspects of teaching practice.

2. Advantages of mentoring programmes

Mentoring is relevant to all teachers at any stage of their careers. The mentor will often be a senior member of staff within the organisation, for example a line manager, supervisor or trainer: a teacher educator. All teachers will benefit from the knowledge and experience teacher educators can provide and, for more experienced teachers, mentoring provides opportunities to refresh their skills, deepen their knowledge, or extend their expertise into a new area of work. Mentoring programmes help to develop confidence and enhance the quality of teaching by providing a framework to enable teachers to develop. There are advantages too for the mentor and the institution involved. Mentoring provides professional development for the mentor. For the mentor It enables them to develop skills in coaching, supporting and managing teacher development. For the institution it helps raise standards.

For the mentee For the mentor For the institution

Mentoring provides: 

  • opportunities to explore ideas and try out different approaches and methodologies
  • opportunities to reflect on their current teaching
  • support in identifying solutions to problems
  • support in articulating areas of concern
  • opportunities to carry out action planning -opportunities to review and monitor progress and development
  • provides opportunities to improve the classroom experience of learners as mentees become more confident and knowledgeable.

Mentoring provides:

  • opportunities to develop knowledge, experience and skills in mentoring and coaching
  • opportunities to enhance feedback skills, methods and delivery techniques and approaches
  • opportunities to increase level of insight into issues teachers face
  • learning opportunities to help prevent the fossilisation of so many of those mistakes that can take place, for example, in the delivery of feedback, where distinctions between development and assessment are often blurred and stressful for the teacher.









Mentoring helps to:

  • build reputation
  • identify training needs to meet educational standards and policies
  • provide depth of insight into the strengths and areas for improvement and development of the teaching team
  • improve standards as mentees develop expertise.







3. Information and reflection tasks

These self access worksheets provide you with further information and reflection tasks on important aspects of mentoring:

Find further relevant books, articles, webinar recordings and videos:

Find resources for supporting and mentoring teachers

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

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