One of the easiest way a teacher employed by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) can earn promotion is by joining the mentorship and coaching programme.
This programme also known as Teacher Induction Mentorship and Coaching (TIMEC), is a structured teacher support programme aimed at embracing preventive measures in managing teacher professional conduct and performance.
TSC has developed the TIMEC programme as part of a broader strategy to develop teachers’ professional ethics and practices.
This will help in building teachers competences and skills as well as knowledge on laws, regulations, policies, procedures, values and norms, governing the teaching profession.
The first batch of teachers to be trained as mentors/coaches in this programme will start anytime from next week.
Both primary and secondary schools as well as special schools forwarded names of teachers to be trained as mentors/coaches.
The Commission has stated clearly in its TIMEC policy framework that it will favour teachers who served as mentors or mentees in times of promotion.
TSC says it will issue certificate of completion of mentorship and coaching programme to teachers who will volunteer in this programme as mentors and mentees.
This certificate it says, will be considered as an added advantage in promotions, appointment posts or recognition reward.
In addition the mentor and mentee willl earn TPD points as provided for in the TPD policy frame-work and career progression guidelines.
The mentorship shall be for a period, while coaching will be continuous based on need.
The mentorship period shall be for at least one year subject to satisfactory performance of the mentee. However, the mentor-mentee relationship may last beyond the mentorship period.
Now the question is, how can a teacher join this programme to become a mentor/coach or a mentee?
According to the Commission school heads will be responsible for identifying teachers to serve as mentors and mentees in the school. These names will then be forwarded to the Commission.
“The head of institution/ supervisor will be responsible to ensure the programme is institutionalized and that mentors are identified and coached so as to support the mentees appropriately,” reads the policy document.
Teachers who will be trained as mentors will come to their schools and train the identified mentees in the school.
However the headteachers and principals are only limited on who to choose to serve as mentors and mentees.
According to TSC the mentors within an institution may be selected from the following: –
(i) Senior teachers
(ii) Peer Teachers
(iii) Team leaders
(iv) Subject heads and subject experts
(v) The school administrators
(vi) A pool of specialists from diverse fields
Also the following teachers are eligible for the programmes as mentees:
(i) Newly recruited teachers, including those on internship
(ii) Teachers newly appointed to administrative positions;
(iii) Teachers having challenges in performance;
(iv) Teacher engaging in professional conduct
(v) Teachers selected to be developed as mentors.
You can read more about the TIMEC programme as outlined below;
DEFINITION OF TERMS
An approach where a supervisor supports an individual or a team by building their skills, competencies and attitudes through direction and instruction in order to learn a particular skill (current skills or acquiring new skills) or work towards a set goal. The purpose of coaching is to improve the individual’s performance on the job.
A structured, sustained process of enabling an individual to gain more knowledge and skills to assist him/her in advancing professional and personal skills and/or leadership capabilities for more effective service delivery, job performance and career management.
A person who is guided and supported by a more experienced individual in the field of interest and area of competency building in order to promote continuous personal development and realization of their full potential.
A specialist and an experienced person who seeks to pass skills, expertise and knowledge to a less experienced teacher with a view to fostering the latter‘s career and personal development. A mentor leads by example through his/her expertise or success.
THE ROLES OF MENTORS/COACHES
The roles and responsibilities of the mentors/coaches will include;
(i) Developing the mentorship/coaching plan with the mentee based on the identified needs.
(ii) Scheduling mentorship/coaching meetings with the mentee.
(iii) Providing support by helping to clarify performance goals and development needs.
(iv) Mentoring/coaching, guidance and counseling of the mentees.
(v) Assisting the mentee/ to achieve the set goals for the mentorship & coaching programme and giving feedback as required.
(vi) Inspire mentees to take action by encouraging their initiative and creativity.
(vii) Acting as a role model which requires that mentors transfer desirable values and actions to mentees on professional conduct and performance.
(viii) Facilitating the development of managerial and technical skills, pointing out specific areas of behavioral improvement by the mentees where applicable.
(ix) Providing mentorship support activities mainly at the institutional level, as well as participating in Zonal/cluster group interactions to share ideas and innovations.
(x) Maintain confidentiality at all times.
(xi) Any other relevant responsibilities assigned from time-to-time.
THE ROLES OF MENTEES
During the mentorship and coaching process, a mentee will be required to:
(i) Identify areas of improvement
(ii) Take responsibility for own development
(iii) Be clear about the mentorship/coaching goals to be learnt and achieved
(iv) Be proactive about initiating contact with the mentor using the various existing communication methods
(v) Be willing to listen and learn
(vi) Ask for feedback and give feedback when required
(vii) Prepare for meetings ahead of time
(viii) Maintain punctuality at all times
On successful completion of the programme,
BENEFITS AND INCENTIVES FOR MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME
(i) A certificate of completion to be issued to both the mentor and the mentee.
(ii) The mentor and mentee to earn TPD points as provided for in the TPD policy frame-work and career progression guidelines.
(iii) Certificate of completion of mentorship and coaching programme to be considered as an added advantage in promotions, appointment posts or recognition reward.
The resolution of disputes if they occur between mentors and mentees to be dealt with in the following ways; –
Where mentors/coaches/mentees commit acts of misconduct, disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with the CORT, and/or the Laws of Kenya.
If a mentees or mentor feels aggrieved by any matter arising from their working conditions, they may lodge a complaint to the immediate supervisor and /or as per the Commission’s procedure.
EFFECTIVENESS OF THE POLICY
Through the programme, newly recruited teachers, teachers in service, newly appointed administrators will be inducted, guided and supported.
OBJECTIVES OF MENTORSHIP AND COACHING
1. The programme aims at building teachers competences and skills as well as knowledge on laws, regulations, policies, procedures, values and norms, governing the teaching profession.
2. The programme will focus on induction of newly recruited teachers, capacity building of newly appointed school administrators and teachers In-Service wishing to be developed as Mentors as well as provide professional support to teachers experiencing challenges in professional conduct and performance.
3. TIMEC aims at achieving the following short-term and long-term objectives; –
i) Institutionalization and Implementation of the programme in all public Basic Education Institutions
ii) Empowered Institutional Administrators leading to well managed Institutions.
iii) Teachers with performance gaps supported and developed, leading to better performance hence job satisfaction and better self-esteem.
iv) Teachers with professional misconduct supported through the relevant professional development practices leading to teacher retention in the teaching service.
v) Competent and empowered teachers supporting learners academic and psychosocial needs, hence improved curriculum implementation, safe and harmonize school environment.
vi) Empowered learners who are mentored, guided and counseled on career choices, moral, psychosocial and emotional issues.
vii) Entrenched continuous teacher professional development and lifelong learning
viii) Teachers compliance with provisions of the Code of Regulations for Teachers (CORT) and Code of Conduct and Ethics (COCE) hence improved teacher professional conduct and performance.
The mentors/coaches together with the mentees, will identify the performance gaps, set goals and map out strategic interventions. The findings will inform appropriate intervention plans/ modules to support the teacher(s) professional, performance and development needs.
The head of institution/ supervisor will be responsible to ensure the programme is institutionalized and that mentors are identified and coached so as to support the mentees appropriately.