Why engage a Mentor?

I feel as if I have been a Mentor for the duration of my professional life – an educator who loves to see others flourish! While a School Principal I did this daily – sometimes formally but more often than not informally. Mentoring young members of staff, mentoring those staff at transitional points in their career, mentoring those changing professions and mentoring those who have sought me out! People all with different challenges, all providing different perspectives and all wanting to explore their personal potential and strive to learn more, do better and do differently! It has been a privilege to share the journey with so many.
Now my Mentoring Role has become more structured as I have explored the forming of professional partnerships with people in Australia and Internationally. Partnerships where Educational Leaders and those entering other professions have wanted to become more reflective, those who have desired to gain insight in their own ways of doing and those who have been willing to be challenged in their own thinking. Some have made decisions to form a partnership with me “privately” (I admire such commitment) and do so at their own expense! Others have negotiated to have “mentoring” included as a part of their professional learning plan and in the case of School Principals an increasing number are seeking to engage my expertise and experience with the endorsement of their School Boards.
During confidential discussions issues are aired, scenarios are analysed, challenges reframed and strategic questions are asked!
In gaining greater insight into oneself there is the increased opportunity that there will be improved outcomes for the community one serves, the staff one works with and in the case of educators, for the students who are ultimately the most important part of the environment.
For me the privilege is in the sharing, the trust, the respect and inevitably the learning!

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