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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Mentoring in Education: An Introduction

Thomas Zachariah 

Life Skills & English Language Coach @ BICS | Public Speaking-CRM-Placement Expert | Pep Talker | Corporate Trainer.  E-mail: t[email protected]

Mentoring is a term very common in corporate now. Among the many definitions, I prefer the following from the Business Dictionary;

Employee training system under which a senior or more experienced individual (the mentor) is assigned to act as an advisor, counselor, or guide to a junior or trainee. The mentor is responsible for providing support to, and feedback on, the individual in his or her charge.1

However, Mentoring in Education is also a process of growth and development of the students but which is demanding more while we are referring the term in the education environment. Here mentoring is more a voluntary but extremely rewarding activity. The same amount of satisfaction for the mentor is there as it is in any segments like corporate or business. It can be benefitted the mentors (teachers) own skills development and career progression, as well. The student-mentor, here, plays a supportive and advisory role for the mentee’s (student’s) development and growth of the skills and knowledge through vast experience from life and right exposure and experience in the subject(s).

Mentoring in Education is to provide proficiency for the mentees in

Behavior  Attitude, Relationship, Knowledge and Career

Student mentor shares his/her knowledge, skills and experience to assist the students to progress in their own lives and careers. The teacher or an expert from outside can also act the role of a mentor for the needy student or them in a small group in an institution.

A student-mentor can make definite positive differences in their lives if s/he has

•   Sincere desire to be involved with the students

•   Respect for students

•   Active listening skills

•   Empathy towards children

•   Ability to see solutions and opportunities for them

•   Flexible approach to provide a shared opportunity for learning and growth

At first, the student-mentor is likely to take responsibility for:

•   Developing the meaning relationship with the mentees,

•   Building rapport with them effortlessly, and

•   Ensuring that the climate of meetings is apt for the mentees’ learning every time.

Student-mentor has to play various roles at the same time such as Learning Consultant– the mentee can approach the student-mentor for clarifying any doubt in a particular subject area the mentor is an expert. Coach– can give right work-outs and do systematic monitoring of the mentee’s progress.  Counselor– has to give the right advice and guidance about the problems facing by the learner both in the personal and learning life.Role Model– this responsibility is an unavoidable feature in the classroom nowadays but that has a great impact on the mentee’s life also. Critical Friend– beyond the normal relationship in a classroom, the mentor must be showing more empathy and watchfulness towards the mentee.

The five most commonly used techniques among student-mentors:

1.  Accompanying: taking part in the learning process side-by-side with the mentee.

2.   Sowing: to prepare the mentee for ready to change.

3.   Catalyzing: escalating the change in the mentee. A quicker path to achievement and development.

4.   Showing: Be a role model of change. It is not to “produce a duplicate copy of the Mentor.

5.   Harvesting: picking the ripe fruit – to conclude at the right moment in the mentoring process.

School students who attending a session on Smart Study Skills  at Sacred Heart HSS in William Nagar, Meghalaya, India

Teach Resilience                                  

Resilience is the ability to withstand and rebound from disruptive life challenges especially for the students of low socioeconomic backgrounds who often encounter crises or challenges and suffer specific traumas. Mentoring in education is unavoidable for the students of economically disadvantaged and ethnically diverse.

For instance, the Garo tribal people in Meghalaya (India) where the students from the elementary class’s onward need mentors for their growth and development. As they are still following lucid lifestyles and complex family values that exist on the matrilineal system, the children are the most victimized group. When they are coming into the mainstream of society, mentoring is an inevitable necessity.3 Through resiliency, they can avoid negative outcomes and emerge stronger by

•   Providing an opportunity to take honors

•   Advanced in the classes,

•   Helping them to participate in multiple extracurricular activities,

•   The development of a strong belief in the self, and

•   Ways to cope with the negative aspects of their school and family environment.

Risk factors while teaching resilience 

The risks can include the family tragedy or having an older sibling who became involved in drugs and/or alcohol or family instability or personal pain, and academic failure. Underachieving students who come from these typical echo systems, the risk factor-filled environments often have little support, so the role of mentor-educators can be very beneficial for students if it extends beyond the basic structures within the classroom. Student- mentors who can see students as talented and give special care about them as individuals by establishing a genuine relationship which creates their additional roles as a mentor. It is an extra-familial support system that can serve as an additional protective factor. By looking beyond their mentees’ disadvantaged backgrounds, they are recognizing their mentees abilities, nurturing the strengths and maintaining high expectations rather than lowering their expectations because of the circumstances. Instructional coaching models in an educational set up may include: “cognitive coaching, clinical supervision, peer coaching, and mentoring, formal literacy coaching, informal coaching, or a mixed model. These coaching roles are designed to increase teacher capacity and push the teacher to improvement through learning opportunities.

Conclusion 

Mentoring in education can bring powerful positive effects on students in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations and even for the lifetime of them. Therefore a student mentor is someone who cares about the students, assuring them that they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and making them feel like they are important. We need more experts into this process to ensure the right growth and development of student folk.

Read more:

1.     http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/mentoring.html

2.     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentorship (The above attempt as a whole is a free adaptation of this article in the Wikipedia as well- the writer)

3.     http://www.ncert.nic.in/departments/nie/der/publication/pdf/Thalukdar.pdf

NowNext Deskhttps://www.nownext.in
NowNext Official | Authentic Education, Career, and Entrepreneurship News. Mail: [email protected]

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