The idea of mentoring is old. During the Middle Ages it became widespread at universities, in religious orders, as well as other parts of social systems. Its purpose is to transform lives.
One of the most valuable experiences new teacher can have is working with a mentor willing to share personal interest, time, talents, and skills. When there is a good match with mentor the relationship benefits both participants with inspiration and insights.
Research on mentors show value the value of having a role model's, support, and encouragement which are the advantages cited by most mentored persons. New teachers benefit from mentors who proffer their experience to help new teachers become more efficient and develop classroom management techniques. Mentor teachers should communicate excitement for their profession and their enjoyment of the learning process.
Mentor teachers should help develop your teaching "mission" that is to say clarify your purpose, so that you can find success. They should provide a long term and short term perspective relating to your career development and the choices you may want to make.
A mentoring relationship is more than a simple contractual arrangement. Each person has an effect on the other's life. It is a relationship akin to friendship in that it is replete with common interests, compatible personalities, and being able to cooperatively work together.
Finding your Mentor Teacher
Decide if you really want a mentor. Meaning, can you make a commitment over time which will result in personal and professional growth? Consider the significant amount of the time involved and be clear about the mentor's purpose as well as the limits of his or her role in your life.
Investigate several potential candidates. A search on the World Wide Web, may be an easy place to start. Follow this up with local school districts, and talk to persons who mentor professionally. Refine for yourself, what you may want or need, and discuss it with them. Do phone interviews.
Be sure that the mentor you select is optimistic. When you interview a potential mentoring candidate ask about their interests, hobbies. You do want someone who is actively involved with life, creative, and confident. You want to determine if they are capable of devoting the time you need, and that the experience will be productive for you both.