Sunday, March 4, 2018

Iron Sharpens Iron: The Importance of Mentoring


The importance of having a mentor is extremely important and often overlooked. 

Why is it overlooked? Here are a few reasons...
  • Fear holds us back from asking for help (afraid that others will think we're not capable), and sometimes we get messages in education that collaboration is not important. Those kinds of messages lead us to overlook the option of looking for and acquiring a mentor. 
  • Since education is a heart-based, service profession, some believe that mentors are necessary in the business world, but not in the education field. 
  • Someone may have been subjected to a "mentoring program" when first becoming a teacher and didn't find it to be impactful. If so, a person with that kind of experience is skeptical about having or being a mentor. 

Good mentors are inspiring, trustworthy, and nonjudgmental. They create a place where questions can be asked, ideas can be exchanged, and mistakes can become learning opportunities. They can stretch us to set goals that we may not otherwise set, and they give us the honest feedback that we may not get from our closest colleagues. 

What if you want a mentor? I value the insights from Jon Mertz of Thin Difference, and he shares four ways to create a "mentor" if you don't have one. I also respect Jeff Goins and his work. I appreciate his post "How to find (and keep) a mentor in 10 not-so-easy steps. 

Tomorrow night (Monday, March 5), MENTORSHIP is the topic of the weekly Alabama education twitter chat (#ALedchat). Here are some questions to inspire your own thoughts about mentorship. The actual questions will be asked during the chat.
  • An effective mentor/mentee relationship _____________.
  • What have you mentored others on or what would you like to be mentored on? 
  • What do you picture when you read “effective mentor-mentee relationship”?
  • What are characteristics of an effective mentor?  
  • What does a mentor DO that makes them effective?
  • In what ways do you create a legacy by mentoring others?
  • What is the role of the mentee in an effective mentor/mentee relationship? 
  • Why is mentorship important for educators regardless of position and experience? 
  • In what ways could we build mentorship programs within our schools/communities?
  • What are the benefits for mentors in the mentoring relationship?
  • What (if any) is the difference between being a leader and a mentor?

Jodie Pierpoint of Dream Big Mentorship will be my co-host for #ALedchat. Jodie has created a national platform for aspiring leaders to connect virtually to mentors.


  
Everyone is welcome to join us Monday nights 9-10pmCST for #ALedchat. We value the insights, perspectives, and experiences of those in our PLN.


**Here’s a time converter to assist all of you around the globe in converting 9pm CST to your local time. 

TIP: If you have never done a twitter chat before, you may find it helpful to go to tweetchat.com and enter the hashtag #ALedchat. Sign in with your twitter account. The website will "filter out" all of the other tweets except for the ones with the hashtag #ALedchat. The website will automatically add #ALedchat to your tweets, and you will see a scrolling list of tweets from the chat on the page. (P.S. The hashtags are NOT case-sensitive.)

I'm one of the founders and hosts of this chat. If you have any questions, feel free to email me

Everyone is welcome. I hope you will all join us Monday night for #ALedchat.

















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