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Figuring out how to teach Psychology in Aotearoa is both exciting and daunting when you are new.  The NZAPT offers teachers new to the subject the chance to be mentored.  Read about some of the mentoring journeys below. Mentoring is closed for 2023. Check back to see when the 2024 programme opens.


Bailley's Mentoring Experience


As a Psychology Teacher and a new member of the NZAPT, I had the opportunity to be a mentor teacher as part of their fantastic mentoring program. I am in my 6th year of teaching Psychology so it was not too long ago I was spending many nights unpacking standards, criterias and contexts, however, in my third year another Psychology teacher joined me and the collaboration helped grow my confidence immensely. Therefore, I can relate to the struggle and hope to collaborate with sole or beginning teachers to help them through their confidence building era. The mentoring program offers 24 hours of free mentoring to NZAPT members which is a great resource for those who are new to the subject especially when they are the sole teacher in a school. 

From Term Two onwards I mentored an experienced Music teacher who was offering Psychology standards in her Music classes for a small group of passionate students. The teacher had a Psychology degree but wasn’t an experienced teacher in Psychology. The mentoring program was designed to help the teacher develop her skills in Psychology standards that she was offering at NCEA Level Two and Three. The program included weekly Zooms, written feedback for student work, developing more accurate marking schedules, moderating work for her, and meeting with her students to do a question session around the students’ conduct research work.

The mentoring largely focused on the difficult NCEA Level Two and Three Approaches task. In my opinion this is the most difficult standard for new and experienced teachers as it is all about focusing on the approaches and using the behaviour, studies, theories, etc to showcase that understanding of approaches. The issue with assessing this standard was a lot of the students' work was based on passionately explaining their case study and their behaviour. The goal was to help shift the focus away from explaining the behaviour to applying and understanding approaches to explain behaviour. The Level Three approaches standard work was around unpacking the complex concept of approach interactions. A lot of feedback was given on how the behaviour and approaches picked will need to change next year to better allow an appropriate interaction to be explored.  However, with consistent effort and practice, we were able to overcome this challenge and make significant progress.

The teacher very kindly provided the following statement to try to encourage others to take the mentee opportunity:

“I feel that I am fortunate to have Bailley as my mentor this semester. She has gently navigated myself and my students through the maze of psychology internals. I am feeling a lot more confident about marking work now and more confident in guiding my own students. I am looking forward to starting standards with the 2024 students in a confident manner. Bailey has made time for me in her busy schedule and has been flexible, encouraging and extremely helpful. Her knowledge of the curriculum is deep and she is always willing to answer my questions. I am very grateful for the time I have been able to spend with Bailley. The mentoring programme is an excellent idea.”


Overall, my experience as a mentor was incredibly rewarding. I was able to develop my leadership skills and connect with another passionate Psychology teacher. The teacher was able to learn new skills, gain valuable insights into Psychology standards, and receive guidance and support from an outside perspective. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to become a mentee to take it - it’s an incredibly helpful opportunity that helps us to all stay connected and develop our practice. 

One of our biggest successes was meeting with her students to do a question session around the students’ conduct research work. The teacher and the students loved it and it helped them gain valuable insights into their field.


Sally's mentoring experience

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Eric's mentoring experience

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Steph's mentoring experience

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