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Me and my mentor

Mick Kitson from Stranraer Academy doesn't know where he'd be without his mentor.

English Teacher, Stranraer Academy, Dumfries and Galloway

I just hope she doesn't read this. I also hope my wife doesn't read it.

When we were introduced, someone (and it may have been me) made the rather weak pun: "Ah, you must be the tormentor..."  Oh how we laughed.

Three months on and I am afraid the only torment I feel is the rather panicky feeling I get when I know she is not in school and I have to do something without asking her what she thinks. Like: "Is it time for my dinner now Jane?"

I fear I have come to rely on her rather too much and I have been undeservedly lucky in getting her. Not just because she is a fab teacher and a master at controlling unruly second years, but she and I are about the same age; we both have three kids; are both refugees from England and both teach English.

I have been slightly alarmed to hear from other probationers that they are not as smitten as I with their mentors. Poor things.

Constant support

Aside from offering brilliant advice in my own subject and frequent criticism of my lessons, she displays an almost German efficiency in sorting out all the bits of paper and forms and things I have to fill in.

She oversees my bulging CPD diary and tells me off when my first years leave her classroom untidy. And, when she is not teaching her own full timetable or acting as my "playground buddy" stopping big hairy fourth years from scaring me when I walk down the corridors, she somehow finds time to mentor two other probationers in our school.

But I'm not jealous because I know I am her favourite. Which leaves me with a bit of a problem come June and the possibility that I will register and lose her to another probationer.

I am not sure it is healthy to become so reliant, but it shows that the system seems to work in providing a constant support and point of contact for new teachers.

Moving on?

I am going to have to be weaned off her, and I fear periods of enforced separation are planned towards the end of the year.  But we'll still have our weekly meetings because I need to be tormented for a little bit longer.