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First Step

When you are starting a new mentoring relationship, it is important to make sure your first step in the process is successful. What suggestions do you have for first steps?

sundeep baliyan


[ report as inappropriate ] October 8, 2013, 7:25 pm

Laura Zieger

George- I have found that matching the mentor and mentee are really important. The two need not be alike. As a matter of fact, sometimes vast differences create a better learning opportunity. The key, however, is open-mindedness on both parts. When I was assigned a mentor for student teaching in a high school, I remember thinking that the teacher and I were complete opposites. He had been teaching for over 50 years...very traditional. I remember trying to talk about cooperative learning and teaching with technology and having him call it all nonsense. By the end of the semester, I had learned a lot from his experience and expertise. A month later, I came to visit him and he proudly showed me how he had his students sitting in a circle in the classroom (he never before deviated from rows!). He also showed me a new computer he had bought to have his students create the yearbook electronically. It was a wonderful experience. We still correspond today (he has since retired and lives in Vermont writing poetry!).

[ report as inappropriate ] August 14, 2006, 12:00 am

George Warriner

Our mentors self select their mentees. They pick someone they respect and can work with. Usually they are friends too. That really helps them get off on the right foot. Funny thing, the first year of our program we had them mentor at least two colleagues. They were gung-ho, but burned out - so we decided one was PLENTY!

[ report as inappropriate ] August 17, 2006, 12:00 am

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