We might seek coaching or mentoring when we feel stuck, anxious, overwhelmed, or frustrated. Some people know they would benefit from support and guidance in their professional or personal lives. Both coaching and mentoring are about skill development and empowerment. Both provide guidance and feedback to develop the areas discussed, with the client hopefully developing their interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and learning from the coach or mentor’s knowledge and expertise.
Coaching and Mentoring are different, but there are overlapping similarities. Both aim to enhance the client’s confidence, wellbeing, performance and development. Respect, trust, and confidentiality are key features of coaching and mentoring relationships. Mentoring can be regarded as less formal, and coaching more structured. But both can be either depending on the client’s needs.
How is Mentoring different to Coaching?
Mentoring is more directive than coaching. Mentors help the mentee work out their goals by leading conversations into areas identified for development and support. Using their own first-hand experience and knowledge, a mentor offers general guidance and advice rather than specific skill improvement. Mentoring support is holistic, helping an individual develop personally as well as professionally.
Like coaching, the mentor provides time and space for the mentee to reflect on and discuss their experiences and development. The mentee often asks more of the questions, whilst the mentor imparts their wisdom and first-hand experience of the role, almost like providing an inspirational road map of anecdotes, successes, failures and advice.
A good professional mentor is more experienced and skilled, and usually more qualified than their client/mentee, and should effectively transfer knowledge in a nurturing, compassionate way.
My Mentoring offer
I offer mentoring to teachers of all ages and experiences, from university students in teacher training, to teachers who’ve spent many years honing their skills, but wish to talk confidentially about career paths, or professional development. I've mentored several PGCE students, NQTs and trainee teachers. I currently mentor trainee teachers and educators in Spain online and in-person.
I also coach and mentor trainee teachers studying for their 'oposiciones,' Spanish state exams, to become secondary school English teachers here in Spain. I currently have clients online and in-person.
I've also mentored teachers who want extra support whilst they prepare for a promotion. One client was promoted in a new school, but was yet to establish herself. We talked confidentially about the challenges of leadership, how to establish boundaries, seek out and maximise the strengths of her team, and what to expect going forward in her new role.
Through collaborating and sharing ideas, she was able to confidently combine her vision and skills to become an effective leader. I offer my experience as a tool to help other teaching professionals become the practitioners they envisage being.
I offer holistic academic mentoring to students aged 11+, students who need a boost. I help with homework, also exploring, identifying and working on areas for improvement and setting realistic targets accordingly. Areas of focus might be confidence, strategies for learning more effectively, relationships with peers and teachers, effort in lessons and exams, organisation and personal accountability.
During this process, I use my counselling training. This psychotherapeutic approach to academic mentoring tends to have great results. I find a balance between a directive and non-directive approach, so we work at a pace and with a style bespoke to the individual student.
I try to ensure that my mentees leave my sessions feeling more positive and happier, 'each time my son comes home from your lessons he is smiling. Thank you.'