Which hat?

Which hat ?


Teaching ?                            Mentoring ?                                 Coaching ?


I love working in education, it s real privilege,  but working with learners can be challenging sometimes !  I know I am not the only one.  When I talk to tutors who have a personal tutoring role or who are supporting learners in practice (often terms mentors or supervisors) I know they have similar concerns and issues that I do from time to time.  So, how can we adapt out approach maybe ?  So, if I am primarily concerned with developing this learner in front of me to become autonomous and to have confidence in their skills/abilities, which hat do I wear ?

If you’ve been to one of my sessions or conference presentations you will know that I like to use the metaphor of hats – literally (I have no shame really, I will wear them as I talk !).

In a nutshell:

  • if my aim is to pass on knowledge then I need to be wearing my tutor hat (the mortar board in this metaphor)
  • if my aim is to develop someone’s experience or exposure (to develop a depth of understanding and skill in practice very often) then I need to be wearing my mentoring hat
  • if I know this person has the knowledge and they have had the relevant experience then I probably need to think about my coaching hat.

But remember this is a continuum – I can move back to ‘tutor’ hat if I or the learner, identifies a knowledge gap for example.

Next blog I’ll start to explore some ideas for how ….


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