24 Jun ’10 Management Middle Management 0

I am very pleased proud pleased to announce that Liam Nicol, our GTP student, successfully completed his formal assessment with Reading University. This was my first experience of being a GTP mentor, having mentored PGCE students in both PE and ICT previously, and I just wanted to share a few reflections on the GTP and make some loose comparisons to the PGCE from a mentors perspective.

The GTP offered plenty of class experiences and in school training supplemented by University lectures. In this sense I would expect this to be fairly consistent with the PGCE. The key difference is that a) you recruit the GTP and b) they work at just the one school (apart from a two week placement). As a result it is imperative you recruit with care.

I believe Liam benefitted from the single school experience. He really did develop strong relationships with the student and we were more confident in offering wider mentor opportunities, parent conferences and extra-curricular experience. Of course, if the relationship were fraught, I can see this benefit quickly becoming a drain.

Personally, I welcome the final professional interview assessment used by Reading University (I don’t know if this is particular to Reading) to confirm his grade and teacher status. Liam received a thorough interview covering all components of the GTP; teaching observations, his Personal Learning Plan, Paper and Professional claim. Although the interview was open and somewhat informal, certain lines of questioning were pursued at length, the whole process lasting two and a half hours.

One tool that proved particularly effective was Liams use of a FREE blog, ‘The Life and Times of a GTP Student.‘ Tagging QTS standards helped organise and manage professional competencies whilst the posts enabled me to monitors the highs and lows of his GTP experience. The blog proved an invaluable non-verbal communication tool between us as well as creating a wealth of evidence towards his PLP. This is certainly a tool I will use in the future with both GTPs, PGCEs and NQTs. I wonder if  Reading University will recommend GTP blogging. Who knows, Liam might post a comment here some time soon?

Following a final discussion between Jonathan Allen, his GTP mentored, and myself were able to share with Liam his final grade and welcome him to the profession. Congratulations Liam, or should I say Mr Nicol.


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