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European Year of Skills

NEST Project: Empowering Novice Teachers through Mentorship

Launched in February 2021, the Novice Educator Support and Training (NEST) project helps novice teachers to develop skills through a robust mentorship program. This support and guidance is much needed in a challenging educational environment. NEST aims to show how important and useful a mentoring model for novice teachers that adapts to specific needs can be. But even more, the project contributes to better skills, motivation, and retention of novice teachers in disadvantaged schools. 

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Joining efforts for mentorship that makes a difference 

The project’s innovative strategy involves everyone - experienced teachers receive mentor training, and in turn, become mentors for novice educators. The mentor training focuses on six important elements, among them skills development, self-reflection, leadership vision, and recognition of students' potential.  

In order to ensure that the approach to mentorship reflects all perspectives, the project brings together public authorities, non-governmental organisations, and educational experts. More specifically, the NEST consortium, which includes seven public authorities from five Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania and Spain), collaborates with non-governmental education organisations that are part of the Teach For All network. The project is co-funded by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency under the Erasmus+ program. 

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NEST: making a difference in teachers’ everyday work and beyond  

With 450+ mentors across 39 EU regions supporting 1300+ novice teachers, NEST has become a collaborative force that helps teachers face the challenges of today, but also influences national policies for better education.  

For example, NEST's impact is already visible in Spain with the Sensei initiative in Catalonia, influenced by NEST. This initiative focuses on providing high-quality support to novice teachers, through a partnership between NEST and the Catalan Education Departments that facilitates the sharing of best practices. Similarly, in Romania, collaboration within the National Group involving the Ministry of Education and Teach For Romania has led to a proposal in the education bill, emphasising the need for increased training and the role of mentoring. 

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Interested to learn more?  

As the experimental phase concludes, NEST plans to share its findings through various events across different countries by the end of 2023. A final EU-level event in Brussels in March 2024 will mark the culmination of the project. 

NEST is a great example of how guidance and mentorship support can make a real difference, equipping today’s teachers with the skills they need to succeed in their changing jobs.  

Helping individuals to thrive in their career is one of the goals of the European Year of Skills. Interested to learn more? Check our website!