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Success Story Food Teachers Centre UK

Food Teachers Centre UK Improves Learning With Facebook Mentorship

“We set up Facebook Mentorship about a year ago and have had nearly 300 people run through the program. Our teachers are often unable to discuss issues publicly, and they are looking for help with a particular problem (one-to-one), so we use the sign-up questions to ask them about specifics and match them to mentors who can help. We have many experienced people in our Group – top authorities in teaching, examiners, authors – and they have been keen to share. They give high quality support, and many are experienced coaches and mentors in their day jobs.”
– Louise T Davies, Founder – Food Teachers Centre, Facebook Admin

Mission

Food Teacher’s Centre is a UK-based self-help group for secondary food teachers, founded by Louise T. Davies in 2013 and supported by experienced volunteer associates. There are over 5,000 active teachers in the Facebook Group. It provides a platform to exchange best practices, give advice and support to less experienced teachers, answer practical concerns and keep teachers abreast of the latest curriculum changes. It’s a one-stop shop for like-minded professionals who seek help through authoritative and accurate information.

Food Teachers Centre UK is a place of:

  • creative and innovative ideas and action
  • practical solutions
  • learning and sharing
Key Takeaways

Food Teachers Centre UK’s work has experienced a rapid transformation in the teaching community. Through its Facebook Group it has reached more than 95% of food teachers in the UK, impacting 2.5 million pupils each year. This growth was achieved by a team of ten passionate volunteers working tirelessly with schools. It achieved this success without government funding or financial support. The idea of a ‘Teachers Centre’ is a response to the lack of local and national specialist support and diminishing Continuing Professional Development. Food Teachers Centre UK’s program has brought the community together to develop and share new resources at no cost and for no commercial benefit, and it’s sustainable for years to come.

The Facebook Mentorship tool helps Food Teachers Centre UK reach teachers directly and cost-effectively. Impact can be evidenced by its award-winning work through highly measurable changes to teach practice and pupil learning.

Solution Statement

Food Teachers Centre UK’s challenge was to update the content that over 5,000 teachers were facilitating in their lessons across the country, at a time when there was little money for training or new teaching resources. It needed an effective way to support teachers as they struggled alone to improve their lesson plans, choose recipes, and plan how to deliver healthy eating, provenance, food science and practical skills.

Impact

“Mentoring adds a personal dimension to your Group. Knowing that members can reach out and there will be a helping hand, with solid advice or a kind word JUST FOR THEM in their moment of real need is life-changing. In our group we have had 110 mentors paired with about 300 mentees. Approximately 215 followed the full step-by-step program.”
– Louise T Davies, Founder – Food Teachers Centre, Facebook Admin

110

Mentors

300

Mentees

215

Pairs Completed

Capacity

Time and Resource Savings

The mentoring tool has really freed up Food Teachers Centre UK’s inboxes. In the past, admins and leaders in the group had many teachers contacting them to get help with individual problems. Of course, Food Teachers Centre wanted to help develop solutions with the teachers but often felt that they were fire-fighting with limited time and resources. The mentorship program It has been so much better to share this across a much bigger team and match them up with experienced colleagues, who can help over a few weeks and months. The program also provides higher quality support, over an extended period and is more manageable. It is proactive rather than reactive. Food Teachers Centre can connect people who work every day with the issues being raised and can offer specialist advice.

Campaign Goal

Better Food Teaching’ for Food Teachers Centre UK

At key times of the year our teachers need more help, for example when they start a new school year, or when exam topics are announced. Mentoring provides a simpler way to manage the rush. At these busy times, mentoring brings our community together more, with a focus on helping each other. It creates a real buzz in our group, and an appreciation of the expertise and generosity of others.

“Facebook Mentorship provides teachers with a private discussion space to seek help with the new General Certificate of Secondary Education exam that started in 2016. We also have new teachers who start, and they need experienced guidance to get through the school year. The support needs to be more detailed and personalized, so they use mentors quite effectively.”

Campaign Approach

Food Teachers Centre UK first announced its Facebook Mentorship offering with a launch post to the Group, then pinned it as an announcement, and finally added it to the welcome post so that new members are tagged each week.

Campaign Lessons

Food Teachers Centre UK engaged the community through regular posts, the welcome message, celebrating success when people finish, and rewarding those who mentor.

Best Practices for Launching Mentorship In Your Community
  • Set goals: Discuss the value this will provide within your community. Be clear.
  • Encourage mentors and mentees to connect and communicate: We’ve seen that the more folks have meaningful conversation in weeks 1 and 2, the better their chances of a successful mentorship.
  • Thank your mentors and remind your group members that mentorship is a great way to “pay it forward” and have a positive impact within the community you’ve built.
  • Post about your mentorship program often and remind folks to sign up.
  • Share your learnings! We’re excited to offer this tool as a new way for your community members to connect.