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Learning mentor career guide

If you’re looking for a wide ranging role and are dedicated to unlocking people’s potential, you may want to become a learning mentor.

Safeera Sarjoo
26th April 2016
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What is a learning mentor?

Learning mentors essentially help students with any difficulties they have in their learning. This could be due to social, emotional or behavioural problems.

They are employed by primary and secondary schools, schools for children with special needs, further education, colleges and community education centres. Some issues you may be faced with includes punctuality, absence, challenging behaviour and in some cases working with able and gifted students who may be experiencing difficulties in their learning.

They work closely and liaise with other professionals such as teachers, educational psychologists and administrators to ensure each child is getting the same opportunities and is reaching their full potential.

Learning mentors are also involved in activities outside of the classroom such as homework clubs and anger management sessions. In some cases you’ll be tasked with organising other events and initiatives that aims to motivate and encourage students to mingle with their classmates and achieve success in an environment other than a classroom.

What are their responsibilities?

As this is a wide ranging role your responsibilities will include:

  • Developing one to one mentoring relationships with students
  • Liaising with staff to identify learners who would benefit from mentoring
  • Implement strategies which helps learners build their self-esteem and confidence
  • Listening to learners and finding a solution to issues creating a barrier to them learning
  • Develop action plans for students and monitor their progress
  • Visit parents at home to advise them on dealing with issues and concerns
  • Work closely with other professionals to ensure students are benefitting fully from mentoring
  • Setting up extracurricular activities such as Breakfast Clubs, sports club or after school activities to motivate them
  • Organising sessions where learners can come and talk about a particular issue
  • Helping with transitional activities for learners moving on from one educational stage to another

What characteristics suit this role?

Becoming a learning mentor draws on a number of characteristics and skills that will be incredibly important when it comes to developing a rapport and trust with learners.

You should be:

  • A good communicator with excellent listening skills
  • Patient
  • Able to adopt a non-judgmental approach
  • Able to gain the trust and respect from students and teachers
  • Willing to improve upon your own knowledge in order to better help learners
  • Committed to improving opportunities for learners
  • Confident and adopt a positive outlook
  • Able to work as part of a team and with people across different age ranges
  • A good planner and approach work in an organised manner
  • Constructive when dealing with difficult behaviour
  • Practical and creative when it comes to problem solving and developing approaches to helping with key issues

Entry Requirements and Training

Jobs are open to all graduates with a degree or HND, particularly in a national curriculum subject. A degree or HND in a subject relating to learning mentoring can also stand you in good stead. Schools and colleges tend to set their own requirements and as a minimum you would be expected to have a good standard of general education with a focus on literacy and numeracy. Experience working with children or young people is also valued when pursuing a career as a learning mentor.

Some other areas of training that would help you when it comes to breaking into this career includes guidance, education, psychology and health and community or social work.

You can take courses to get you started in this area. Beginner courses in mentoring are available to take.

You will be required to pass a DBS check before working in the sector. As a new learning mentor you’ll be given induction training and as your career progresses, there is the opportunity to go on further training to gain higher qualifications. Depending on your role, you may opt to train in specific areas your role entails.

 

 

 

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