Thursday, August 22, 2019

How Mentoring Supports Essay Example for Free

How Mentoring Supports Essay Mentoring is probably as old as humanity. Though we cannot exactly trace its beginnings, we can however, see its effects on different prominent personalities in our histories and in both our fiction and non-fiction stories. It is said that behind every wise and great man is a mentor that share with him the basic knowledge and information during his formative years which eventually flourish in to a deeply rooted wisdom and intelligence. Thus, on this premise, we can say that mentoring plays a crucial and very important role in our lives but what really is mentoring? Mentoring is when a role model or a mentor who has more knowledge and experience offers support to another person who is called the mentee or the protege (McBrien, J. L. , Brandt, R. S. 1997: 64). It is a process which supports learning and development of another person; more specifically it is a one on one meeting to support the learner in their desire to improve their personal situation in life (Marslow P. , Wray M. 2000: 81-82). Scholarly interest on the role of mentoring in adult development is often traced to Levinson’s seminal study of human development which he found to be dominantly affected or influenced greatly by mentors. A mentor therefore is often described as a guide, a counselor and developer of skills who facilitates the realization of a dream, of a vision that one has of the sort of life he wants (Allen, T. ,Eby, L. T 2007: 8-10). A successful mentor however, is not made overnight, just like any beginners, a mentor also, once in his life, also becomes a mentee or the protege. A common example of this is a novice teacher. There’s a common notion that teachers are always the mentors, always the one who counsel, always the one who guide another person, but a closer look into reality will let us know that teachers themselves in educational institutions needs also to be mentored in order to be effective and even survived their profession. It is often said that student achievement and the effectiveness of a school in training students is linked to the quality of teachers that such educational institutions employ. Thus, guidance and development through mentoring finds its ways as a very important tool in developing educators especially the beginning or novice teachers. Mentoring movement for beginning teachers are said to be guided with two school of thoughts, to wit: the first one is the idea that beginning teachers are at risk in terms of their career and personal development in the profession. Thus, unless timely support is provided, many beginning teachers will face difficulty in settling down, becoming disenchanted and some may even leave teaching altogether (Ginns, et al. 2001). The second school of thought pertains to the ongoing capacity building as an important feature of any learning community where a continuous reflection-in-action, performance feedback and improvement should form an integral protocol for all teachers as professionals (DET Induction of Teachers 2001). This school of thoughts may indeed differ in their principles and idea but it has one similar aim, that is, to support the beginning or the novice teachers in their profession as educators. To be more particular on how mentoring can support the professional learning of the teachers, it is proper to discuss all aspects which mentoring can have a great effect, to wit: the personal development, emotional and psychological development, social development and career development. Mentoring can greatly effect the personal development of a beginning teacher inasmuch as the mentor will make the beginning teachers build his or her principles in the profession as well as his beliefs, capabilities and aspiration. Mentoring encourage development of self-awareness by showing how self assessment can help in his or her personal development. A novice teacher will often feel lost in his or her first year in the profession, thus making the novice teacher feel uneasy in showing and expressing his beliefs, his ideas or if his abilities will match the requirements of the teaching profession. This kind of doubting behavior as to himself and as to his principles and beliefs will more often than not lead to a shallow and empty dark hall of self doubt which of course will not help the beginning teacher to grow and be developed. Here is where mentoring should come in. In this stage, a mentor through his advice, company and simply his listening skills will make the novice teacher to develop self-confirmation and self-confidence as well as his confidence to express and stand on his or her beliefs. It is worthy taking note to that saying that the higher level of confidence, awareness and self-esteem will more often results to a higher learner’s motivation to seize learning opportunities and to take responsibilities for improving their levels of excellence and performance. In terms of emotional and psychological development, mentoring can help the beginning teachers adapt and adjust their feelings and attitude towards his or her new environment. Beside the new environment that confronts the novice teacher, the everyday dilemma and uncertainties will surely frustrate any beginning teachers. With the limited experience and practical knowledge to drag on, the novice teacher often feels uncertain and at the same time overwhelmed. Clearly, providing support to beginning teachers is better than letting them sink or swim on their own. Studies of teacher attrition show that without support, new teachers will more likely to leave teaching. Mentoring in answering this type of problem associated with the psychological and emotional being of the novice teacher will play a â€Å"form of therapeutic guidance† (Scherer : pp. 4-8). Mentoring the novice teacher through giving on-the spot advices on times which they are considered vulnerable will amounts to a good counseling where the mentor addresses issues like stress, everyday workplace dilemma and even frustrations that may build along the way. Battling these emotional and psychological struggles through support from a mentor is very important in the formative years of the beginning teachers as this will help decide the latter from deciding whether to stick in the profession or just leave it altogether. Mentoring also contributes to the social development of the beginning teachers. Beginning teachers often find themselves alone in the new environment and if state like this continuous to go on in the whole career of the novice teacher, more often than not, the said teacher will find himself withdrawn in the society. Thus, mentoring will help the novice teacher develops his inter-personal skills. Building rapport and friendship are considered important traits of an educator as he is constantly reaching and interacting either with his students and even his or her co-teachers. Mentoring therefore will promote friendship between the beginning teacher and the mentor and subsequently to the whole faculty where he or she can interact and exchange ideas with his colleagues. In the book authored by Stephen Gordon, How to help Beginning Teachers Succeed, it was said that the most significant force in their experience was the peer and support of their mentor. The said peer or support was typically rated as highly influential early in the formative years and increasingly influential as the years progressed (20-21). Thus, the support rendered in during the formative years of the beginning teacher is the most important factor in the development of the career of the novice teacher as this instilled support will always served as a post or a mark in their road to professional growth. Laslty, mentoring is a tool in the development of the novice teacher’s career. It is settled that mentoring involves a relationship between a less experience individual or the protege and the more experience person or the mentor where the primary purpose is the professional growth and development of the protege. Considering that the main purpose of mentoring is for growth and development, it will therefore be a tool which will prepare the novice teacher for career advancement. It is for this reason that mentoring is often referred to as the indoctrination of the novice teacher in the professional field of teaching and this relationship, in itself can have profound effects of these beginning teachers to have a clear and realistic picture of his or her professional identity and career plans. Because mentors are often more experienced in the field of teaching and thus, equipped with more knowledge and wisdom, mentoring can therefore be an effective tool in the transmission of distilled wisdom from one generation to another (Bhindi 2003) After all, it is said that great learning and wisdom are not always written in the text books, first hand experience and theories that have been tested by the mentors are the greatest learning that a beginning teacher will have in his or her professional career. Mentoring therefore may be considered as interactive cycle of learning, affirming, renewing, creating and transforming knowledge experience and expertise. It is now settled that a novice teacher needs mentoring in their formative years of their career. The contributions and effects of mentoring not only shows advantages that can be present in the short span of time but rather, mentoring is showing more advantages that can be seen for an even longer period of time. It is during this mentoring stage where the novice teacher determines his capacities, his knowledge and abilities which he will now pass to the younger generation through his teaching profession. As earlier stated, the quality of education is determined to the quality of teachers an educational institution employs, thus, mentoring therefore should not be taken for granted or taken lightly because it is through proper mentoring that will determine the quality of education our future children will have. List of References Bindhi, N. 2003 Study Guide EDGL 919 Mentoring Beginning Teachers, University of Wallongong. Ginns, I. , Heirdsfield, A. Atneh, B. and Waters J. J 2001 Beginning Teachers Becoming Professional Tthrough ActionResearch, Educational Action Research, Volume 9. Gordon, S. How to help Beginning Teachers Succeed, Second Edition, pp. 20-21. NWS Department of Education and Training (DET) 2001 Induction of Teachers – Module 21: Working as a Mentor. McBrien, J. L. , Brandt, R. S. 1997 The Language of Learning: A Guide to Education Terms, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, p. 64. Parslow P. , Wray, M. 2000 Coaching and Mentoring, Kogan Page, pp. 81-82. Scherer, M. 1999 A Better Beginning: Supporting and Mentoring New Teachers ACSD, p. 4-8.

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