Policy: Mentoring Sites and Mentorship Programmes

1 Scripture

Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 28:18 – 20: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you.”

2 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to serve as a guideline to schools that want to be registered with The King’s Institute for the Work Integrated Learning section of the BEd offered by The King’s Institute. This is to ensure uniformity and quality in the mentorship programme.

3 Background

The purpose of SAHCET is to educationally equip each generation through a Biblical, Christ-centred process to fulfil God’s purpose. Our vision is therefore to establish an institute of higher education where students can be equipped through Biblical, Christ-centred education. This takes place through a blended online model.

As such, discipleship and therefore mentoring forms an integral part of our programme. Because The King’s Institute follows a blended online approach, the involvement of local schools is vital to the success of the programme.

The education of the Teacher Intern is founded on a tripartite relationship.

The academic education is provided by The King’s Institute. Because TKI is still in the process of getting accreditation, the academic institution can be any institution that provides a BEd that is recognised by SAQA until The King’s Institute has received accreditation. Studying at secular universities encourages a dualism in worldview that makes the work of teachers in Christian education difficult, because the students do not receive comprehensive training in the basic philosophy of Christian education.

Mentoring and Work Integrated Learning is provided through schools found in the area where the student lives. It is important that students must be of benefit to their own community from the beginning of their studies.

Students must have a testimony of being born again and be admitted to the BEd or on a pathway to the BEd. No student can enrol in the BEd at The King’s Institute without being part of a mentorship programme at a school registered with TKI.

This policy document focuses on the mentoring leg of the tripartite relationship of the training process.

Although the purpose is by no means to prescribe to schools how they must be governed, the policy provides minimum requirements and expectations to ensure quality education and training of our Student teachers.

4 Definitions and Acronyms

Born again: To have a testimony of accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of our daily lives.

CHE: Council for Higher Education

Christian education: Education from a Biblical, God-centred worldview.

DBE: Department of Basic Education

Discipleship: The word disciple means “to become a learner”. In the Christian sense, it means that such a learner models their life on the life of Jesus Christ. Discipleship leads to a Biblical, God-centred worldview, prayer and outreach.

DHET: Department of Higher Education and Training

DOL: Department of Labour

FCE:  Foundation for Cross-cultural Education

Mentee: The person that is being mentored, i.e. the Teacher Intern.

Mentor: A teacher that mentors a Teacher Intern in a specific area of expertise.

Mentoring: Mentoring focuses on the personal development of the Teacher Intern to prepare the Teacher Intern to become a teacher that teaches from a Biblical, God-centred worldview.

Mentor Coordinator: The person responsible for the Teacher-training site.

Professional Practice Schools: Schools where student teachers receive quality support during their normal period of school-based training.

SACE: South African Council for Educators

SAQA: South African Qualifications Authority

Scaffolding: Scaffolding consists of activities provided by the mentor to support the Teacher Intern. As the Teacher Intern progresses these activities are then tapered off until the Teacher Intern is declared competent.

Sequencing: Progressing from simple to more complex skills.

Teaching Schools: Individual schools where Teacher Interns can observe best practices, participate in teaching experiences and potentially link research and teaching.

Teacher-Training Site: Venue where Teacher Interns have access to computers, the Internet, assistance with their studies and discipleship.

TKI: The King’s Institute

Worldview: A person’s worldview describes the unconscious way that the person sees and understands the world. It therefore permeates the way that person lives their life.     

5 Requirements

5.1 Provider of Higher Education

The provider of higher education must be registered with the DHE and accredited through the CHE.

In the case of a foreign provider, the qualification must be formally recognised by SAQA.

5.2 School with Teacher-Training Site (Professional Practice Schools)

The school must accept and sign The King’s Institute’s Statement of Faith (TKIP001) and core values (TKIP002).

The school must be registered with the DBE.

5.3 School with Mentors Only (Teaching Schools)

The school must be registered with the DBE.

5.4 The Mentor-coordinator

The mentor-coordinator must be born again and agree and sign The King’s Institute’s Statement of Faith (TKIP001) and core values (TKIP002).

The mentor-coordinator does not necessarily have to be a qualified teacher, but it must be a person who has completed some form of Higher Education successfully and who has a passion for Christian education with five strong character references.

There can be 12-20 Teacher Interns per mentor-coordinator in one mentoring group. There can be up to four mentoring groups per mentor-coordinator.

5.5 The Mentor

The mentor must be a subject/phase/extra-curricular expert or school principal employed at a school registered with the DBE.

The mentor must have at least five years’ experience in their field of expertise and a reference from the Principal.

The mentor must further be born again and submit a testimonial from their pastor as well as sign The King’s Institute’s Statement of Faith (TKIP001) and core values (TKIP002).

5.6 The Teacher Intern

The Teacher Intern must be born again and agree and sign The King’s Institute’s Statement of Faith (TKIP001) and core values (TKIP002).

The Teacher Intern must have been admitted to the BEd or learning pathway towards the BSc, BEd, BA, BComm/HED with an accredited or recognised provider of higher education.

6 Responsibilities

6.1 Provider of Higher Education

The provider of higher education must provide the mentor-coordinator with the following:

  • The learning pathway of the Teacher Intern;
  • The specific academic requirements for each Teacher Intern including a list of all assignments with the minimum requirements for passing.
  • The Teacher Intern’s marks for every assessment and academic progress online.
  • Respond to correspondence from the Mentor-coordinator when a Teacher Intern is not making the required progress.

6.2 School with Teacher-Training Site

At a teacher-training site, Teacher Interns from various schools receive assistance with their studies. These Teacher Interns are also discipled at the teacher-training site.

The purpose of discipleship is to help people to become committed followers of Jesus Christ. They should develop a Biblical, God-centred worldview during this time.

The school must provide a mentor-coordinator who has been trained through The King’s Institute.

The school must provide a venue as teacher-training site. This venue must include computers with Internet access and the necessary software to further the Teacher Intern’s studies. There should be enough computers for 75% of the Teacher Interns to work simultaneously.

The financial obligation for the teacher-training site rests with the school and there is no prescription from TKI on how this must be covered. However, no Teacher Intern must be excluded because they cannot cover the cost of mentoring.

6.3 School with Mentoring

The school must provide a subject/phase/extracurricular expert to mentor the student teacher.

The school must provide the Teacher Intern with an employment contract and enter into an agreement that complies with the requirements of the DOL found at: http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/find-more-info/all-about-learnerships/.

6.4 Mentor-coordinator

The mentor-coordinator is responsible for:

  • Modelling the life of a true disciple of Jesus Christ;
  • Discipling Teacher Interns;
  • The development of the teacher-training programme at the school;
  • The administration of the teacher-training site, e.g. infrastructure etc.;
  • Establishing relationships with school-based mentors;
  • Liaising with participating schools to assess the Teacher Interns in the workbased context (employee performance management) and providing feedback to the relevant stakeholders;
  • Guiding and supporting mentors in their mentoring role;
  • The administration of the Teacher Interns:
    • Recruitment;
    • Employment contracts;
    • School/Teacher Intern agreements;
    • Learner subsidy application and administration;
  • Providing induction into school life for Teacher Interns including general policies and procedures;
  • Tracking each Teacher Intern’s progress (academic and in the workplace) and addressing problems early on by providing  written feedback to the Teacher Intern three or four times per year (depending on the school programme where the Teacher Intern is working);
  • Liaising with the academic provider and other stakeholders where necessary;
  • Assisting the Teacher Intern to develop basic life skills required for discipling, studying as well as teaching;
  • Developing a mentoring plan (TKIT001) for the Teacher Intern in conjunction with the mentor and the school;
  • Meeting weekly with Teacher Interns individually and as a group;
  • Facilitate professional learning community workshops weekly, design content (curriculum) and process;
  • Create learning experiences, camps, fickle trips to facilitate learning in a collective space;
  • Providing quarterly feedback to all stakeholders with regards to the Teacher Intern’s progress;
  • Providing technical as well as personal support to the Teacher Intern;
  • Coordinating collaboration between all the stakeholders, including SETA;
  • Assist in the administration of the bursary for individual students;
  • Overseeing the mentoring process and disciplinary process;
  • Handling sensitive issues;
  • Participating in quality assurance processes;
  • Coordinating alumni (TKIP004) activities/support;
  • Network with partner schools and NGO to provide service learning opportunities.

6.5 Mentor

The responsibility of the mentor is to induct the student teacher into a specialist department. This entails:

  • Developing subject/phase/extracurricular knowledge, skills and application of procedures;
  • Teaching styles applied in the department;
  • Developing a comprehensive mentoring programme in conjunction with the Mentor-coordinator;
  • Allocating tasks to the Teacher Intern;
  • Inviting the Teacher Intern to meetings;
  • Assessment of the Teacher Intern using the Assessment Plan (TKIT002) (diagnostic and formative assessments);
  • Providing weekly feedback (TKIT003) and support to the Teacher Intern;
  • Providing bi-weekly (monthly) feedback (TKIT004) to the Mentor-coordinator.

Although there is a specific administrative element in mentoring, the aim is not to overwhelm the mentor with paperwork but rather to see a relationship develop where there is constant feedback between the mentor and the Teacher Intern as well as between the mentor and the mentor-coordinator.

A mentor can mentor more than one Teacher Intern but only one Teacher Intern can be in a class at a time. A mentor might for example mentor a Teacher Intern in Intermediary Maths and another Intern in an extracurricular activity.

Care must be taken that mentors are not overburdened.

The mentor can assign the Teacher Intern to different classes for developing specific expertise. The Teacher Intern does not have to be in the mentor’s class all the time.

6.6 The Teacher Intern

  • Must attend and participate in all mentoring sessions as planned by the mentor;
  • Must use the time provided for studying effectively;
  • Must communicate openly with mentor and mentor-coordinator with regards to any problems, whether in the mentoring programme or with academic progress;
  • Act professionally at all times;
  • Participate fully in the life of the school (including extracurricular activities);
  • Provide mentor co-ordinator with timetable, exam time table, academic results.

7 Mentoring Process

The mentoring process must have the following characteristics:

7.1 Scaffolding

Scaffolding consists of activities provided by the mentor to support the Teacher Intern. As the Teacher Intern progresses these activities are then tapered off until the Teacher Intern is declared competent.

7.2 Modelling

Modelling provides exposure to expert practice. This is an opportunity for the Teacher Intern to observe an expert in action and to learn through observation.

7.3 Sequencing

Sequencing helps the Teacher Intern to progress from simple to more complex skills.

7.4 Multifaceted Nature

The goal behind diversity is to provide the Teacher Intern exposure to a range of activities at the school that would include teaching, extracurricular activities and outreach. Furthermore, there must be diversity in each of the aforementioned, e.g. a variety of teaching strategies, different extracurricular activities and a range of outreaches.

7.5 Problem Solving

Where problem solving has become one of the most required skills of the 21st century, Teacher Interns will be exposed to problem solving on different levels. There will be specific focus on creative problem solving but also the opportunity to solve problems that arise during the normal course of a teacher’s day.

7.6 Assessment

Assessment as a tool to monitor progress forms a vital part of mentoring. A standardised baseline assessment will be administered to determine the Teacher Intern’s current level. Individualised mentoring plans based on the baseline assessment and the required core competencies will then be developed. Informal and formal formative assessments will then be administered throughout the mentoring process to ensure the Teacher Intern’s progress.

7.7 Feedback

Regular feedback between all stakeholders, i.e. the Teacher Intern and mentor, the mentor and the mentor-coordinator, the Teacher Intern and mentor-coordinator will ensure that everyone stays on track.

7.8 Support

The purpose of this mentoring programme is to provide the necessary support for the Teacher Intern, not only to complete their academic studies but also to ensure that the Teacher Intern becomes a teacher that will deliver Christ-centred, Biblical Word-based, Kingdom-minded teaching in a skilled manner and that they will fulfil their calling in the schools and communities of South Africa and Africa.

7.9 Collaboration

During the mentoring process Teacher Interns must learn to work with others in a well-functioning team and in different positions in the team.

8 Focus Areas for Mentoring

  • Teaching and learning;
  • Organisational procedures;
  • Communication;
  • School culture;
  • Time management;
  • Emotional support; and
  • Professionalism.

9 Core Competencies of Student Teachers

Teacher Interns must be able to:

  • Grow spiritually:
    • Based on own testimony;
    • Based on the testimony of mentors and learners.
  • Lead by example:
    • Be committed;
    • Be courageous;
    • Discern situations;
    • Be focussed;
    • Take the initiative;
    • Be passionate;
    • Have a positive attitude;
    • Be dependable;
    • Take responsibility;
    • Be self-disciplined;
    • Serve others;
    • Run with vision.
  • Interact positively with learners:
    • Show respect;
    • Build relationships;
    • Listen attentively.
  • Communicate effectively:
    • With all stakeholders in learner’s education;
    • Providing regular updates and feedback;
    • Resolving conflict maturely.
  • Teach from a Biblical, God-centred world-view:
    • Relationship with God;
    • Values;
    • Content; and
    • Methods.
  • Create an environment conducive to learning:
    • Create a physical space that will help learners with different learning styles to learn;
    • Establish boundaries that will create a safe space where learners are free to learn.
  • Design good lesson plans:
    • Meet different learners’ needs;
    • Cover the required standards;
    • Be creative, interactive and motivating;
    • Provide enough time for learners to master the content.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of different learning intelligences and how to apply it in different classroom contexts.
  • Assess well:
    • Accurately measure what was taught and what was learned;
    • Cover all learning styles;
    • Design diagnostic/baseline, formative and summative assessments;
    • Design formal and informal assessments;
    • Incorporate a variety of methods.
  • Identify learner needs:
    • Learning needs;
    • Physical and social needs;
    • Emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Organise events:
    • Planning, including tasks, resources and time;
    • Running the event;
    • Lessons learned.
  • Adhere to school’s policies and procedures:
    • Code of Conduct;
    • Dress Code;
    • As relevant at a specific school or department and per the requirement of the mentor-coordinator.
  • Commit to community engagement and outreach:
    • Be involved in the local church;
    • Volunteering at community events;
    • Reach out on a local, national or international level.

For every four hours the Teacher Intern spends in the classroom or in extra-curricular activities, there must be three hours for studying on the school premises. How this time is divided between mentoring in the classroom and mentoring at the teacher-training site depends on the school.

10 Hours

The Teacher Intern is responsible for at least 2 hours of study at home. 

11 Quality Assurance

Quality assurance of the programme is based on:

  • Baseline (TKIT005) and formative assessments from the mentors against the Core Competencies;
  • Surveys of mentors, peers and learners as well as other relevant stakeholders;
  • Interviews and feedback from Teacher Interns;
  • Academic progress with Higher Education Provider and The King’s Institute.

12 Resources

BRIDGE, November 2016. Mentorship in Teacher Development. BRIDGE, South Africa.

DBE and DHET, 5 April 2011. Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa 2011 – 2025. Technical Report. DBE and DHET, Pretoria.

Eagle’s Nest Christian School, 2019. Mentorship Policy Document. ENCS, Polokwane.

Greene, A.E., 1998. Reclaiming the Future of Christian Education. ACSI, USA.

Maxwell, J.C., 1999. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee.

Merlevede, P.E. and D.C. Bridoux, 2004. Mastering Mentoring and Coaching with Emotional Intelligence. Crown House Publishing Limited, UK.

More than a teacher Training Academy, 2019. Mentorship Guidelines. KEG, West Rand.

Robinson, M., 2016. Professional Practice Schools as a Form of School-University Partnership in Teacher Education: Towards a Social Justice Agenda. Education as Change. Volume 20, Number 2, pp. 11 – 26. UJ and UNISA, South Africa.