How does a BRITE mentor help you to reach your professional development goal?

Typically when pursuing a professional qualification, you attend lectures, do the background reading, complete an assignment, or sit an exam – fairly standard stuff.

BRITE likes to do things differently!

Should you participate in BRITE’s Needs Assessment Practice (NAP) course – sometimes referred to as Module 4 – you’ll enjoy the added value of being assigned an experienced mentor to provide individualised guidance and supervision.

But what does “being mentored” actually involve? BRITE team member, Carol Boyle, talks us through her approach to mentoring, and what makes for a successful mentor/mentee relationship.

As your mentor my role would be to encourage your personal and professional growth by sharing knowledge and experience that is relevant to your needs.

As the mentee, you would decide upon the amount of guidance required. I expect to be asked for help or advice to tackle more challenging work.

We work together to reach a specific goal and we communicate with each other regularly to ensure that goal is reached. Typically, it is the successful completion of the BRITE Professional Development Award, Inclusiveness: Facilitating strategies to Support Learners with Additional Needs*.

With BRITE participants located over an increasingly large geographical area, Carol believes that communication remains key to the relationship.

For convenience, mentors and mentees usually meet online using BRITE’s virtual meeting space, powered by Adobe Connect Pro. Email and phone calls are popular. Where necessary a face-to-face meeting may be arranged.

A typical mentoring relationship for me would be to first meet the mentee to ‘put a face to a name’, answer any questions about the practical and theoretical elements to NAP/Module 4, outline expectations of the relationship and of course make sure that you are comfortable with using the online facility and receiving encouraging feedback and being mentored.

Following this initial stage, it’s down to the important business of assessing students and writing reports!

After our initial meeting, you observe me assessing a student to determine his or her additional support needs. Later, I observe your needs assessment skills and report writing, providing constructive feedback.

Ultimately, says Carol, “success depends on both the mentor and the mentee”.

I am here to motivate and support you in your role, while you should be someone who is eager to learn, to develop existing skills, and wants the recognition you deserve for the work you do.

In addition to guiding the mentee towards successful completion of the course, the benefits of having a mentor include:

  • Learning from one another 
  • Building confidence levels
  • Trying new ideas and challenges
  • A good sounding board!
  • Smoother transition into a new role
  • Reassurance of existing abilities

*NAP/Module 4 offers accredited training for educational practitioners who are actively involved in assessing the support needs of learners. When combined with another BRITE course, Facilitate Inclusive Learning Strategies (FILS) – AKA BRITE Modules 1-3 – it forms a graduate-level PDA in Inclusiveness: Facilitating strategies to Support Learners with Additional Needs.

Visit our website to find out more about Carol and BRITE professional development awards.

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