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Coaching vs Mentoring. What works best for teachers?

Aug 24, 2022


A teacher is likely to participate in a mentorship programme at some point during their career.


This could happen while they are studying for their PGCE, as newly qualified teachers (NQTs), or after a promotion within the educational system.


Meanwhile, few people in the education sector can claim to have been "coached," and the majority couldn't compare the two or explain what differentiates them.


Coaching in education has grown in popularity in recent years, and more organizations, such as the CfBT Education Trust and the National College, are promoting it in schools.

What's the difference?

But, do mentors and coaching differ from one another, and if so, how do they differ in terms of the teaching profession and actual teaching? Everything comes down to this in a nutshell.


Mentoring with a mentoring platform is a method of career transition management in which a senior employee imparts their knowledge to the person receiving it.


When someone feels the need to evaluate their professional abilities, they turn to a coach, which allows for genuine continuous professional development (CPD). It could be either senior/junior or peer-to-peer.


Each technique will be examined in greater detail.



Mentoring is a beneficial, ongoing relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced mentee. The idea is that the more experienced mentor will impart knowledge and advice to the mentee while he or she adjusts to new position.


Mentoring with the help of a mentoring platform in public schools is frequently organized around achieving criteria, such as performance management goals, making it simple to document the mentoring process and its outcomes. The process is complete when the mentee is capable or self-assured enough to continue performing their job without supervision.


Coaching, on the other hand, frequently entails peer-to-peer sessions that provide the person receiving coaching with unbiased feedback on their strengths and weaknesses in areas of interest.


The coach guides the conversation by asking questions that allow the professional seeking guidance to reflect on their work and identify areas for improvement. This is the polar opposite of mentorship because the coach does not assess, judge, or set goals, and the person being coached has complete control over the conversation.


Coaching, as opposed to mentoring, also gives the recipient the ability to make decisions about their professional development and encourages increased CPD ownership.


What Qualities Make a Good Mentor or Coach?


The definitions above show that there are similarities as well as clear distinctions between the Mentor and the Coach.


It is entirely possible for a teacher, particularly one in the early stages of their career, to have a formal mentor who oversees their entry or transition and a separate coach who provides more targeted and focused advice in areas where they require it.


The mentor-mentee relationship makes it clear that the mentor is the expert and the mentee is the novice. Novices are less experienced, have less experience, and know less about the subject at hand.


The coach is frequently past the novice stage because they can critically and sanely reflect on their practice while drawing on their growing experience and what they already know. In a coaching process, this very relationship is less explicit and frequently more egalitarian.


While, as previously stated, mentoring is primarily an official job to handle a transition or support phase, coaching is used at all career levels. While mentoring is often more comprehensive and less diagnostic, coaching can help with specific areas of improvement.


Are the terms coaching and mentoring interchangeably? There are subtle differences between coaching and mentoring. Someone who mentors assumes the role of a trainee or new teacher's mentor. While coaching for a more experienced instructor is typically focused on a specific area of improvement.


In a world of remote teaching, distant learning, and uncertainty about the future of education, those in charge of others' support and growth bear a heavy burden to ensure they do not fall behind with their classroom practice.


The Competencies Necessary for Mentoring


While formal education is not necessary for mentoring, several abilities are suggested for someone to be a successful mentor. Here are just a few examples:


        A strong will to help others is a given, but we hope you already have it because it's a crucial place to begin when mentoring others.

        first-hand expertise, experience, and insights in the field in which you are offering mentoring — as mentoring should be based on sound, specific counsel and direction.

        Both coaching and mentoring benefit greatly from relationship-building and interpersonal abilities.

        Even if it is not considered a "skill," a dedicated long-term time commitment is essential because it is critical to follow through when you begin a mentoring relationship with someone.

        Every mentorship session is filled with inspiration, encouragement, and motivation.

        It is critical to help the mentee define their goals. The mentor may need to engage in some self-reflection to assist the mentee and determine where their goals should be.




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