When did you join the NTP as an Academic Mentor and what inspired you to join?
After completing my undergraduate studies in Sport and Exercise Science at The University of Kent in May 2020. I started working at Robert Clack School, which is in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, as an Academic Mentor in January 2021.
I was inspired to become an Academic Mentor because I wanted to help young people and the next generation of students to succeed in their educational studies and in their personal life goals as a whole.
How have your experiences been so far?
My experiences have been extremely positive. Having the opportunity to work alongside hardworking and optimistic colleagues has provided an uplifting working environment. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges, the perseverance and diligence shown by each student has enabled us as members of staff to experience countless moments of inconceivable joy and gladness.
What have been the main highlights so far?
Seeing my mentees achieve awards for their hard work both inside and outside of school is a highlight for me as this is a testament to their perseverance, positivity and diligence in all that they do.
What has been the biggest challenge?
For the vast majority of society, the biggest challenge was learning how to navigate the uncertainty and pressures of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the support and togetherness seen within society, family members and friends has helped to ease the pressures and challenges of life during this difficult time.
What impact has tutoring had on your pupils?
Mentoring students has had a tremendous impact on their approaches to learning. This is seen with increased growth in their confidence and engagement levels not only in class but with their peers in and around the school. Now that students have me as a mentor, they are aware that I am available to support them across the school day and have developed the courage to try new extracurricular activities and to continually ask for insight into how they can further improve in specific subject areas of difficulty.
What has been the biggest success?
Supporting a student through their personal stages of grieving. In the midst of this, he went on to continually excel in his learning through achieving awards in various year group assemblies, consistently achieving his target grades and striving to be the best student that he can be for himself and those around him.
What difference has it made to the teachers in your school?
Being able to bridge the gap between the teacher and the students, this has enabled efficient and effective communication to be established between the student and the teacher. Teachers, as well as parents see mentoring interventions as a huge benefit for students who may be experiencing difficulties in their education due to extenuating circumstances.
How are you using this opportunity?
I would like to progress in this role and use it as a way to continue in the education sector by progressing into teacher training in a primary or secondary school setting. My passion and enthusiasm comes from a desire to impart and instil positive virtues and values to the next generation of young people in our schools.
What advice would you give to other people in Academic Mentor roles already or about to join, or thinking of applying?
My first piece of advice for those considering academic mentoring, would be that if a mentor (person) has a passion to assist and guide others towards success, then academic mentoring is a great starting point to working in a schooling environment. My second piece of advice would be to be proactive in embedding yourself into the life of the school in as many ways possible. This can be carried out by supporting or organising extra curricular activities within the school, attending parent and pastoral meetings. By partaking in said experiences, this is a fantastic way to grow as an individual but to build long lasting relationships with students and colleagues within your school.