The ETF’s T Level Leadership Mentoring Programme is for staff in middle manager positions who are, or will be, delivering T Levels and is a fantastic opportunity to learn from, and be supported by, a specialist mentor who can help you develop in your role and contribute towards the successful delivery of T Levels. In this blog, Stephanie Moriarty, Education and Childcare T Level Lead at University College Birmingham, writes about her experience of being a mentee in this programme.
Knowing our organisation was delivering the Childcare T Level in the new academic year was a catalyst for me wanting to know as much as I could about the qualification. The ETF’s T Level Leadership Mentoring Programme was shared with me to support not only myself, but also the childcare team, in preparing for the transition to delivering the T Level. This was a brilliant opportunity to engage with other professionals and to have support from a mentor to ensure the team and I were prepared for the new qualification. After being signposted by my manager and reading more about the programme it was time to apply for the course, of which the process was swift and straightforward, a heads up for what the programme would be like.
As part of the process, you’re assigned a mentor with whom you meet regularly. My mentor was so supportive and encouraging, a real asset to the team that she works with. During my mentoring sessions, my mentor and I discussed particular problems or ideas I had, such as strategies that I could use to support my students with exam preparation or even how to engage employers within the induction process. The whole process was supportive and very personalised, which made the mentoring sessions very worthwhile. Having a mentor has allowed me to see things from a different perspective by having an impartial person to sound ideas from before addressing them on a bigger organisational scale. From the mentoring sessions, I’ve established clear strategies I can use to make the induction process a valuable experience for the students. The process has allowed me to engage with group mentoring sessions with others experiencing similar situations, and forge professional relationships.
Before starting the mentoring process, I associated mentoring with failing and thought it was used for individuals who needed additional help to reach their potential. This process has completely changed my opinion of mentoring and shown me just how important and valuable this process can be. Working with a mentor has built my confidence in sharing my experiences and asking for support, and I understand that it doesn’t mean my ideas are wrong, it’s just useful to seek clarity. My mentor has supported me further than just ensuring the team is prepared for the T Level and supporting my professional development; they have been able to offer guidance through stressful marking periods, keeping me grounded and ensuring I was not overwhelmed. My mentor supported me in identifying strategies to have successful team meetings and move forward in a positive way to prepare for T Level delivery. Having a confidential mentor provides opportunities to share concerns and issues that you may not have had a chance to do in other situations, and they offer guidance on these. Self-reflection can be a very daunting experience; it’s easy to pick out what I don’t usually do so well and where I need to continue working, but having support from a mentor has allowed me also to pick up on my, and the team’s, strengths. Recognising these strengths has given me a clear starting point in preparing for the T Level and working with our strengths to maximise the enrolment and induction process. If, like me, you want to feel more prepared and supported for T Level delivery, this programme is absolutely for you.
Find out more about the T Level Leadership Mentoring Programme.