Mentoring Teachers Course

Grow your educational leadership skills 

Boost your capability as a current – or future! – education leader. Whether you’re looking to become a mentor teacher or grow your existing education and leadership skills, learn from our UC education experts in Mentoring Pre-service Teachers. 



Seeking the next step in your education career? Whether you’re looking to become a mentor teacher for the first time, or want to boost your existing educational leadership skills, gain the tools you need to effectively support and mentor the people in your kura | school.

With our Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury education experts, you’ll learn more about education and leadership, including how to facilitate positive outcomes, te ao Māori mentoring principles, and growing empowering mentor-mentee relationships.

Whether you’re in early childhood, primary or secondary education, you can use these educational leadership skills to support Pre-service, Tōmua | Provisional and Tūturu | Full Practising teachers, as well as laying the foundation for your future in education management.

This course is ideal for
  • ECE, Primary and secondary teachers
  • Educational leaders and managers
  • People interested in beginning a career in educational leadership or management



  • "This course strikes a good balance between theory and practice. I value its focus on creating a culturally responsive mentorship environment."

  • "It gave clear guidelines what is expected to complete the course. It not only focused on the mentor and mentee relationship, but I have found Module 5 exceptionally insightful in how to deal with conflict or difficult discussions."

  • "I really enjoyed how culturally responsive the course was and the way that the feedback is structured to be mana-enhancing. The strong emphasis on whanaungatanga is an aspect that all leaders can benefit from."

  • "I really enjoyed the content. It was all interesting and relevant."

  • "This course has been incredible informative and had a profound impact on my practice. The course encouraged me to engage in deep reflection."

What you'll learn

  • The difference between mentoring and coaching
  • How to build effective mentoring relationships
  • A Māori worldview of mentoring and how the principles of Te Tiriti influence relationships
  • How to facilitate difficult learning conversations
  • How to create SMART goals 

Course outline

Our courses are flexible, enabling you to plan your study around your other commitments. You can choose to study when it suits you during the learning period (15 July - 15 September with a one-week study break from 12 - 18 August), followed by a 2-week review period for marking and feedback (16 - 29 September).

We recommend completing around 6 hours of study a week during the 8-week learning period (excluding the study break)– you can view the course overview here for more details on assessment timings. 

Module 1: Te Pakiaka o te tōtara
Explore the differences between coaching and mentoring and the importance of establishing mentor relationships.
Module 2: Te Taitea o te tōtara
Explore a Māori worldview of mentoring principles in your current practice. Evaluate how the principles of Te Tiriti influence relationship building in a mentoring context.
Module 3: Te Taikaha o te tōtara – Ako 
Develop a range of ‘Listening for Learning’ skills to create a learning environment that benefits a teachers' perceptions and responses to teaching and learning.
Module 4: Te Taikaha o te tōtara – Wānanga 
Develop an understanding of different types of feedback and using an educative mentoring approach with your mentee. 
Module 5: Te Karamatamata o te tōtara
Facilitate difficult learning conversations based on a framework that promotes productive dialogue and empowers teachers for positive outcomes. Formulate SMART goals to help teachers build their professional capability.
  • 2 Module quizzes = 15%
  • Forum participation = 20%
  • Final assessment = 65%

Upon successful completion of the course you will be issued a digital badge to recognise your learning achievements. This can take up to 2 months to be delivered after the marking and feedback period.  


To take this course, you must:

  • Be a qualified teacher
  • Have a teaching degree and/or extensive and relevant previous teaching experience 
Technology requirements

We recommend a laptop or desktop computer and a reliable internet connection. For most courses you'll need to download and populate assignments. These are usually available in Microsoft Word.

Course fees

Course fees must be paid before learning can begin, either via online credit-card payment, or by contacting to request an invoice. Please note: fixed invoice payment dates apply, so we recommend getting in touch with us as soon as possible to request an invoice, as this option is subject to availability.

Minimum enrolment threshold

Please note: Tuihono UC | UC Online has a minimum enrolment threshold that must be met to enable opportunities for interaction, discussion, and feedback. If the minimum number of enrolments required for a course is not met, enrolled students will be given the option to defer their enrolment to the next course date, or receive a refund. 

Crediting this course towards a degree

In certain cases the points from this course can be credited towards further study with UC. Learn more about cross-crediting and recognition of prior learning.

Our people

Grant Buchanan

Grant Buchanan

Lecturer | School of Teacher Education

Grant also teaches Physical Education courses with primary pre-service teachers and works as a professional practice lecturer. He completed a master’s thesis on mentoring in primary schools in New Zealand. His research focuses on understanding the ecological nuances of mentoring teachers and using mentoring to build professional capability.  

Nikki Tod

Nikki Tod

Lecturer | School of Teacher Education

Nikki's professional background includes ten years of classroom teaching in primary schools. This includes senior leadership positions, mentoring pre-service and beginning teachers, and lecturing in Initial Teacher Education at UC for over twenty years.

Sandra Williamson-Leadley

Sandra Williamson-Leadley

Senior Lecturer | Education

Sandra's professional background includes 17 years as a primary school teacher in NZ. This includes senior leadership positions, mentoring pre-service and beginning teachers, and ten years as a teacher educator.

Her doctoral research focused on the perspectives of primary teachers regarding the impact of professional development when integrating educational technologies in their classroom practices. She's been involved in mentoring as a student and associate/mentor teacher, and is now a professional practice lecturer for initial teacher education students on placement.

Please note: our academic team develop and present video content within their courses, but are not always the course facilitator. The course facilitator will engage with learners in the course forums, answer queries and mark assignments.