A good mentor inspires you, encourages you, at times challenges you and helps you grow........
Inspires you: You observe a mentor if you work with or near them, follow on twitter, read their blogs and then think "I want to do that, try that, incorporate an activity into your practice......" because it resonates with you yet sits perhaps on the edge of your comfort zone: that zone where learning happens.
Encourages you: A good mentor encourages and supports you to try something new, that might perhaps be a little scary, or try something you do already but in a different way. You are given positive feedback and feedforward. For this to happen there needs to be a level of trust and mutual respect in the relationship between mentor and mentee.
Challenges you: This too requires a respectful relationship and really links in with the above points particularly feedforward but also with pushing ourselves into that zone, just past comfort, where learning happens.
Helps you grow:Sometimes it can be hard for us to see your own personal growth. However, if I was to ask myself "What do I do now that I didn't 6 months ago?" that has come about through being mentored (formally and informally) I can list:-
- attempting a GHO (had to revert to Skype!)
- starting to blog
- running a session at #Ingition14 unconference
- focussing on questioning for deeper learning
As I've been typing I realised that the qualities of a good mentor very much align with our school motto....
Nurture. Inspire. Empower