(Day 6 of the Teach Thought 30-day blogging challenge: Explain: What does a good mentor do?)
Whether it's a student, new teacher, or aspiring teacher, our job as mentors is to guide and support, but not give all the answers. Good mentors put aside their own beliefs and accept the mentee as the developing student or professional they are. They do not judge or reject, but instead are committed to helping the mentee. Good mentors are skilled individuals who are wiling to coach students and teachers along their journey, regardless of their current performance level.
Quality support can come in many forms. Dialogue, modeling, co-planning, and classroom observations are just a few techniques that can be used, depending on the mentee. Good mentors recognize each mentee is different and adjust their teaching and communications depending on the needs of each individual. They are good communicators who take opportunities to affirm their mentee and they keep interactions positive.
I also believe good mentors should be models of continuous learning. They should seek out their own professional developement. They attend workshops, participate in Twitter chats and other social media interactions, and they are willing to learn from colleagues. Good mentors are open about their own professional growth and share their new knowledge with their colleagues and as well as their mentees.
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