I have had several mentors in my career, only one of them formalized. You'll hear more about Sara in my next post.
Some mentors I have met, and others I haven't.
Those I've Met: There have always been lots of awesome people in my building and I've had the opportunity to learn from them. Even before I became a teacher, I had some incredible mentors whose influence has been indelible.
Those I Haven't Met (Yet): Being able to interact with people who I look up to and learn from through Twitter, blogs and other social media has become an integral part of my practice.
Do you remember the show, Herman's Head? Whether they know it or not, I have several mentors whose support, ideas and questions have affected me so deeply, they're basically stuck in my head at all times.
To me, a good mentor:
- inspires others through his or her actions
- encourages others by focusing on collaboration and celebration of differences, not competition
- becomes "stuck on my shoulder" (like a little cartoon angel), and I can almost "hear" his or her voice encouraging and questioning me
- challenges and questions your thinking
- supports you through good times and bad, without judgement
- listens and really hears and remembers what you've shared
- doesn't necessarily know all the answers, but can direct you to people or resources that might