StaffsPsych Student Blog: Mentoring GCSE Students

Anthony Miller, a second year Sport & Exercise Psychology student at Staffordshire University, blogs on his experience working as a mentor with GCSE students:

An opportunity was advertised via the Psychology department’s Blackboard website to be a mentor at a high school in Stoke-on-Trent under the supervision of Penny Vincent. At first I was apprehensive, I had never done anything like this before! I plucked up the courage and realized how beneficial this could be for my professional development, so I decided to go for it!

I went to mentor some Year 11 students at Haywood Academy prior to the Easter break. Doing this really helped me realize what it takes to work in education, and how challenging it can be. For me, going into that situation blind (so to speak) really was difficult, but once the day was finished, I felt confident and competent. I gained the skills to help in a school setting and now I would not hesitate in doing more mentoring sessions.

A Miller Mentoring (March 2015)

Anthony mentoring Year 11 Haywood Academy students

What I actually did was indirectly help the students answer mock exam questions, by finding ways to help them get to an answer without directly feeding the answer to them. At first this was hard, especially without in-depth course knowledge. I also realized that each student is different, and adaptation to the needs of such students is key. Some are quiet, some are loud, and some just really struggle to listen, but this where experience comes in and I am glad I have started with this mentoring role now rather than later. The primary gain from doing this was the students realizing their potential, and learning through my guidance, making a genuine difference to their capabilities.

If you are interested in acting as a mentor please contact Penny Vincent at P.E.Vincent@staffs.ac.uk.

Keep up-to-date with regular student blogs and news via the Psychology Department’s blog and twitter feed.

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