In the workplace, a difficult conversation is described as one in which you have to manage emotions and information in a sensitive way to deal with an issue. Having difficult conversations and giving critical feedback is one of the most challenging and important parts of being an effective mentor teacher.
Many issues that arise on placement are a simple case of pre-service teachers (PSTs) misunderstanding expectations – these issues can often be resolved quickly and easily, with PSTs then going on to have a successful placement. If you do need to have a difficult conversation, it’s best to do it as soon you start to have concerns about the pre-servicighlige teacher or a specific issue arises. The longer you wait or the worse a situation becomes, the harder it can be to manage and resolve problems.
Outlined below are three key areas in which issues may arise. Please consider the information and advice we offer in relation to these areas before you embark on your difficult conversation. You will also find a range of common questions with ideas and resources to help you discuss and resolve these problems with your pre-service teacher.