I didn’t get the job because I wasn’t tough enough. I came across as being very student centred (tick) very approachable (tick) with excellent ideas about well-being and aspiration (tick) but just not tough enough in the discipline department. I concur. Fair cop. In my world, a good mentor doesn’t need a whip. They inspire.
What’s interesting is that this was advertised as a mentoring post, in a UK secondary school. They were clearly making good progress in student support – but as they said, they were fire-fighting. And as the appointed mentor in the sister post confided, they don’t do much mentoring. It’s disciplining.
That’s what we do, it seems. In crude terms, we sit on students to get them through to the end. In this case what the school wanted was someone who could do that with a friendly face. Someone to sit on the students whilst smiling.
Is it me, or is there something missing?
The Donaldson report on education in Wales wants to see six areas of learning and experience embedded into the curriculum: expressive arts and health and well-being are two of them. Funny that; I seem to remember Sir Ken Robinson’s report on the Arts in Schools, when I was training way back in the late 80s, recommended much the same thing. Round and round we go.
At least there’s a recognition out there. At least schools and heads want to see student welfare being prioritised. But we’re not there yet on the implementation front. Nearly, but not quite.