Supporting beginning science teachers to teach and evaluate their lessons

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter aims to highlight some mentoring strategies when working with beginning teachers who are at different developmental stages of teaching. For example, a beginning teacher you are mentoring might be observing and practising some basic teaching skills, but not yet teaching a full lesson, or they might have started to incorporate a range of teaching strategies in lessons, but these strategies are not specifically focusing on promoting pupils’ learning and so on. Therefore, you should use your judgement and knowledge about the beginning teacher to identify the best mentoring strategy to use at any one time.
The chapter starts with a brief description of the stages of development using Maynard and Furlong’s (1995) model of a beginning teacher’s development concerning basic teaching skills, teaching strategies and teaching styles. Next, some characteristic behaviours of an effective teacher are presented. A range of mentoring steps to support the beginning teacher’s journey of becoming an effective teacher, starting from ‘early idealism’ then ‘survival’, ‘recognising difficulties’, ‘hitting a plateau’ and finally to ‘moving on’ stages of development are then given. The chapter closes with a discussion on how to support a beginning teacher to self-evaluate their lessons by using lesson debriefs (called post lesson discussions in Chapter 8) and pupils’ feedback.


At the end of this chapter you should be able to:
1. Recognise that it is a mentor’s responsibility to identify a beginning teacher’s stages of development and support them towards becoming an effective teacher;
2. Support a beginning teacher to develop the characteristic behaviours of an effective teacher;
3. Assist a beginning teacher to be able to identify and develop basic teaching skills, teaching strategies and a pupil-centred teaching style;
4. Encourage a beginning teacher to self-evaluate their lessons with the aid of lesson de-briefs and pupils’ feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMentoring Science Teachers in the Secondary School
Subtitle of host publicationA Practical Guide
EditorsSaima Salehjee
Place of PublicationAbingdon, UK
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • supporting teachers
  • science teaching
  • mentoring teachers

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