A key part of the Debate-Ed programme is recruiting mentors to lead our interactive workshops. Mentors usually work in pairs and are assigned a specific school to work with at the beginning of the programme.

Why Be A Mentor?

Being a Debate-Ed Mentor is a great opportunity to learn about leading a group and how to teach. Mentors gain excellent interpersonal skills as they learn how to respond to the students and how to give constructive and useful feedback.

Mentors will also learn debating skills and techniques which will be very useful if they wish to explore debating at university level. Many of the techniques will also be useful for college and university studies.

It also is an excellent opportunity to show university and potential employers that students can take on a leadership role and a position of great responsibility.

Its great fun – not only are the workshops full of engaging and exciting activities, but Mentors get to judge at the Debate-Ed competition as well!

What Makes A Good Mentor?

  • Enthusiasm

  • Ability to be encouraging & supportive

  • Good listening skills

  • Ability to communicate well and explain things clearly

  • Able to think on their feet

  • Reliable

Become a Debate-Ed Mentor

What Does Being A Mentor Involve?

As a Mentor you will need to commit to attending two training workshops that usually take place in September.

You will also need to attend your assigned school for weekly workshops during the school term. While at this workshop you will conduct fun games and activities and help support the children’s development of key debating skills. You will be given support throughout the process. There will be 10 workshops from September to March.

You will need to support your school teams through the competition at the end of the programme and will also judge at this competition.

Mentors will need to read through the training materials and be prepared for each workshop.

After each workshop Mentors will need to provide their thoughts and feedback from their workshop e.g. what went well, any problems and any ideas they may have for the next workshop.

Do I Need Experience In Debating?

While experience with debating or public speaking would be beneficial, you do not have to have debated before to be a mentor. Equally, you do not have to have studied any particular subjects in order to be a mentor. You will be provided with full training and teaching materials. The most important thing is that you are enthusiastic and committed to helping the students develop.

As a mentor you will have the opportunity to develop a number of skills. You will be provided with all the training materials you need and supported throughout the workshops.

In addition to the skills outlined below, you will also have shown prospective employers or universities that you are prepared to take on additional responsibilities outside of college.

My Experience As A Debate-Ed Mentor

Throughout the last ten to eleven weeks the Debate-Ed project has provided me with so many rewarding and memorable experiences. The first week felt very much a daunting task with the large groups of very loud kids to however thanks to the interesting topics which engaged the children they soon began to listen and focus. My most memorable experience towards the end of the sessions was that we were looking for volunteers to lead the smaller debate teams. To my amazement, a young girl who had appeared shy for most of the sessions volunteered to actually lead her team’s planning and then speak. I felt extremely happy with this as it was concrete proof that the sessions worked and that people who otherwise wouldn’t have speak now have found a voice because of this.