Kathryn Darwin, mentoring with Ambition’s Early Career Teachers programme

Kathryn Darwin, Lead Teacher and self-proclaimed “massive teaching and learning geek” at Manor Croft Academy, was a mentor with Ambition’s early roll-out of the Early Career Teachers programme.

Below is an extract from Ambition’s case study with Kathryn. Click here to read the full article.

Ambition’s early roll-out of the Early Career Teachers programme offered Manor Croft a carefully sequenced curriculum with a strong focus on instructional coaching. This put mentors like Kathryn into the role of expert, working alongside a junior colleague and helping them to identify points for improvement. Under an instructional coaching approach, these improvement points are tackled one at a time, so that learners are not overwhelmed with too much information or demoralised by the scope of the task.

“I have found new insights into my own teaching practice through mentoring as part of Ambition’s programme – it has allowed me to geek out even more!”

Manor Croft is a school which has built an interest in research into its culture, and Kathryn was pleased that the Early Career Teachers programme fed into this approach from day one. During the early roll-out, new teachers received research insights bit by bit, in manageable chunks, from the very start of their induction into the profession.

Involvement in the early roll-out of Early Career Teachers has been exciting for Kathryn, because she’s worked with a lot of trainees under different providers across the past couple of years.

“On the different programmes I’ve been a part of, it has not always been clear as to what new teachers really needed. Once they reached the end of the NQT year, new teachers are often a bit rudderless without knowing how to develop their teaching further. This was certainly how I felt at that stage. I thought, “Oh well, am I done now? No one is going to help me anymore.”

“The Early Career Framework and Ambition’s Early Career Teachers programme bridges that gap because we’re still supporting our new colleagues, but doing it in a way that evolves with them. And having that direction for us is nice. It has created opportunities to develop other staff around it, with the benefits of mentor training and easy access to research being felt elsewhere. I think that’s very different from what has happened before.”

Kathryn is an excellent role model for others and really passionate about making a difference to new teachers.

Helen Wriglesworth, Associate Director of ITT & Early Careers, Delta Teaching School Alliance

For more information on our programme for early career teachers (ECF), follow our Twitter accounts:

@SWTeachingHub – Selby & Wakefield

@BDTeaching Hub – Barnsley & Doncaster