Monday, 4 April 2016

Choosing an FHEA mentor.

This is part of my series of blogposts on gaining Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
As I mentioned in my last blog post on PebblePad, students following the APEX routes to gain accreditation from the Higher Education Academy are strongly encouraged to have a mentor. This person will be the one completing the two classroom observations required in the portfolio and can offer guidance and encouragement throughout the process.
 According to those running the course, ideally a mentor is someone:
  • whose advice and feedback you will welcome and respond to
  • in your own subject area
  • who is a fellow or senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • who has attended or will soon attend the Mentoring for APEX workshop
They also say that "mentors should be able to help you to develop a subject specific view of the literature on learning and teaching in higher education and to help you locate and understand discipline specific pedagogic literature".
Image: Perfect Petals.Found on
 This is how I see a mentor - someone who nurtures and helps a person develop and grow
In my role as Subject Liaison Librarian I look after Social Sciences, although the makeup of this has altered significantly over the last four years due to a University restructure. Currently, this includes the subjects Anthropology, Sociology and Communications, Games Design, Film and TV, and Journalism.
The Sociology division is overhauling its undergraduate programme and I am doing my best to persuade them that subject librarians can help with providing the skills and attributes they require their students to leave University with. I am hoping to teach the vast majority of the first year skills workshops in addition to a social media module which has been mooted. I have chosen a mentor from this division, not only because she is excellent at what she does but also so that I can understand more about what the students in this area needs.
We have met once and have decided to aim for submission a year from now, with the allowance of a few extra spring/summer months as contingency in case life throws any more curveballs at me...

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