Thank you for the opportunity to be a buddy for Xin Yi. After my participation in the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Programme, I volunteered to be a buddy for several juniors who signed up for JET after me. It was interesting to compare my experience then with my experience today.
I thought I would add on to the suggested roles and responsibilities of a buddy. Specifically, I would like to expound on the “informal check-ins” portion. Being a buddy turned out to be an invaluable experience for me as I got to crystallise my thoughts about what it means to be teach at NorthLight.
I think that during the informal check-ins, buddies could initiate discussion on the following topics:
- What brought you to NorthLight? (to detect for signs of trauma and burnout lingering from the previous workplace)
- Are you facing instances of culture shock at NorthLight School?
- What’s something that pleasantly surprised you about NorthLight?
- How are you calibrating your expectations? (to help mentee reframe his mindset and practise self-generosity)
- You may find that teaching at NorthLight makes you more exhausted than you expect. How are you coping with your fatigue?
- What are some examples of classroom management scenarios you encounter in class? (I attach the typical scenarios I typically encountered during my JET stint.)
- What feedback did your mentor give you? And are you finding it difficult to reconcile the feedback with your impressions of the kind of teacher you wish to be?
My two cents, for what it’s worth.