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 ….