The Grace Tutors' Pre-service Teacher Mentorship Programme (PTM)
Current teacher education and pre-service teachers in HK
In the 2018 Policy Address, the all-graduate teaching force policy is announced. Under the policy, graduate teachers are benefited with better salary and welfare. At the same time, they may face more administrative duties, which are not taught in detail in their teacher education.
Teacher education is the cornerstone of the quality and future development of the education system in Hong Kong. While the professional training provides pre-service teachers with extensive pedagogies, subject knowledge and theories alike, it is a common practice for the education faculties of various universities to offer teaching practicum lasting between three to four months to pre-service teachers throughout their five years of study.
Since teacher education in Hong Kong revolves mostly around theories with relatively less emphasis on practice, fresh graduate teachers are often challenged by practical issues, such as administrative tasks and communication with parents. In addition, in light of the local teacher education which places more significance on theories than on practice, pre-service teachers often find it difficult to have hands-on experience with various education issues, such as students with speciation education needs (SEN) and non-Chinese students (NCS), both of which are common in local schools.
As a result, pre-service teachers often find themselves in a difficult situation, where they struggle to develop the skills necessary for these tasks in their first year of teaching.
The vision of Grace Tutors' Pre-service Teacher Mentorship Programme (PTM)
Against this background, the Grace Tutors’ Pre-service Teacher Mentorship Program (PTM) aspires to provide comprehensive training to pre-service teachers with a view to prepare the participants into well rounded teachers. As a form of shadow education, the project aims at addressing the aforementioned issues in the current education system by the sustainable measures.
The comprehensive training aims at offering pre-service teachers with holistic and lasting experience in the education field, which is not confined to the classroom teaching of mainstream Chinese students. By exposing to students of different sociocultural backgrounds or with different educational needs, pre-service teachers can advance their professional competency, resilience and vision. All in all, the program targets at equipping pre-service teachers into a generalist who is holistically capable of classroom teaching, school administration and parent communication.
Experienced educators and established leaders across different professions possess invaluable experiences in the operation, administration and management of schools. It is hoped that through PTM, this capital can be transferred to the pre-service teachers so that they will be well-equipped for the impending education career. Under the guidance of these distinguished mentors, mentees are provided with opportunities to advance their competency and broaden their networks. At the end of the program, mentees are expected to inherit the professional ethics, experiences and competencies from their mentors as well as to stay connected with established leaders from various fields.