Teachers and students are now benefiting from a Teacher Mentorship Programme (TMP) that was recently launched at Manning’s School. The programme, created and managed by the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC), offers professional support to teachers who are new to the school or returning to the classroom after a five-year absence.
Manning’s, which follows Manchester High School where the TMP was first rolled out, has reported positive results from the programme since it was launched at the school last month.
Certified mentor and head of the mentorship programme at Manning’s, Ilene Cohall-Bailey, is currently mentoring the two newest members of staff at her institution. They are first-timers in the classroom. According to Cohall-Bailey, the transition has been less overwhelming for her new team members because they are able to receive support from mentors who can offer advice on issues such as how to deal with a disruptive student.
“They do not have to figure things out on their own,” Cohall-Bailey told the Jamaica Observer. “They are guided step by step with what to do and how to do it.”
She said all of the school’s department heads have been unofficially given the title of mentors. The long-term plan is for each to be certified and for all teachers at the institution to participate in the programme.
Guest speaker at the Manning’s School Mentorship Programme Launch, business teacher at Munro College, certified mentor and regional officer for the mentorship programme for Region 5, Audley Feare, told the Observer at the event that he believes the programme is important to the professional development of teachers for several reasons.