(Part of @teachthought 30-day Reflective Teaching Blogging Challenge) more info here.
A mentor teaches, supports, and inspires.
Many years ago at the start of my teaching career, I had many mentors that helped me and supported me to become the best I could be. I appreciated their words of wisdom, availability to talk, and willingness to share ideas and materials.
Over the years, I have been able to pay that forward. Being a mentor for numerous student teachers, practicum students, and even high school students interested in teaching has been a way for me to pass along my knowledge and inspire them to carve their own path in education. Mentoring brand new teachers as well as teachers new to my grade level has been both a challenge in terms of time as well as a blessing in terms of stronger relationships, trust, and shared ideas.
A good mentor......
.......listens, answers questions, anticipates needs, and is a model of effective teaching.
Most of all, a good mentor has an open heart and is able to learn alongside their peers. No mentor is ever at the point where they cannot learn more from others.