Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

Mentors Needed

January 20, 2012

The daughter of one of my friends had wanted to become a nurse ever since she was a little girl.  Upon her college graduation, Lindsey (not her real name) was accepted into the nursing program at a large prestigious hospital.  She recently left after only one year.  My friend says that there was a sink-or-swim attitude among the more experienced nurses at the hospital which made a difficult job even more stressful.  She says that if Lindsey had had a mentor to provide guidance regarding hospital procedures and culture, she might still be there.

Our local newspaper, The Post-Crescent, just featured an editorial regarding the upcoming retirement of baby boomers and the hiring of new employees to replace them.  The potential numbers are huge!  For example, 1/3 of the public school teachers in our local area could retire in the next 10 years.  The editorial suggested mentoring as a way to transfer teaching skills and knowledge to the next generation of teachers with minimal cost.  The article stated that industries around the country could benefit if mentoring was implemented for knowledge transfer.

What about your community and your workplace?  It’s time to establish mentoring programs now – before more valuable people and knowledge are lost!



Mentoring for Educational Success

August 31, 2011

Mentoring is alive and well in our schools.  Tomorrow is the first day of September and the first day school for the children in our neighborhood.  Teachers have been busy preparing classrooms and lesson plans.  Parents have done the usual shopping for school supplies and other needed gear.  But, mentoring has been receiving recognition as an important part of the back-to-school preparations this fall.  Because of the large number of teacher retirements last year, mentoring is more important than ever for new teachers.  In some districts, new teachers with no prior teaching experience have each been paired with an experienced teacher as a mentor to help him or her get off to a good start, to answer questions, and to provide ongoing feedback on classroom techniques throughout their first year.  New teachers with prior teaching experience are assigned a “buddy” for their first week.  At the high school, incoming freshmen are matched with an upper classman as a mentor to help with finding classrooms, to complete assigned challenges, and to attend special events together.  All of these mentoring matches are made to contribute to the success of this upcoming school year.  One of my neighbors says, “It’s working!”  She and her mentor are already learning and off to a great start!

Let me know if you have other mentoring examples for me to share!

Online Discussion Groups

July 1, 2010

Do you belong to, follow, or contribute to any of the LinkedIn discussion groups?  I have joined a couple of LinkedIn groups and have contributed to one or two discussions.  Sometimes, I’m hooked on a discussion; most times, I skim and skip because the topics aren’t of great interest to me.  But recently, there was one that caught my eye. 

Someone in a group wanted to know the difference between teaching, coaching, and mentoring.  I couldn’t believe some of the answers that emerged after several days!   I won’t go into all of them here but will instead offer my definitions.  I hope you find these helpful. 

  • Teacher – shares information, knowledge, skills.
  • Coach – is usually focused.  A coach works with the individual (coachee) to set objectives and achieve a goal. 
  • Mentor – uses teaching and coaching techniques to share past experiences and successes while exploring solutions based on the self-learning and specific needs of the individual (mentee).  Mentoring is generally a long-term relationship and can cover many topics. 

Have a great July 4 holiday weekend!