Teachers are the parents’ partners in ensuring that a child grows up to be a responsible citizen and a decent human being. More than the academic aspect of education, they also have a hand in guiding students to make good decisions in life.
This places a greater responsibility on teachers because of their influence over children. For this reason, certain standards have to be met by aspiring educators. While a good trade recognition course, an education degree, and an ability to teach all contribute to making a good teacher, what’s even more important is the person’s desire to make a positive impact in the lives of his or her students.
In this case, they are no longer teachers. They become mentors.
What is a mentor?
A mentor, by simple definition, is a person who is there to guide, nurture, and support you in the different (or all) aspects of your life. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee (one who is being mentored) is an important relationship in any person’s life as it helps bring more meaning and purpose to their existence. This mentorship is not just a one-way street where only one person benefits. It is a relationship that helps bring the best out of both parties as they journey through life together.
What are the roles of a mentor?
A mentor’s primary role in mentorship is to bring to the table whatever expertise and knowledge he or she has about different aspects of life. The mentor is usually older than the mentee mainly because older folks have more experience and wisdom but this is not always the case. There are times that a mentee is the older one who needs the guidance of someone who’s younger but knows more about a certain subject matter.
Whatever the case may be, mentors provide guidance and advice based on the different stages a mentee is in life. Whether it has to do with schoolwork, family time, finances, setting priorities, organizing, and health among others, mentors are there to give their insight to their mentees so that they, in turn, can make better and wiser decisions.
What are the benefits of mentorship to students?
Students are obviously the ones who get the most out of a mentorship program. Here are some ways that students benefit from having mentors to help them navigate not just academics but life in general:
Set goals individually
Personalized learning doesn’t just take place inside a classroom setting. Mentorships provide students this privilege whenever their teachers take the time to sit down with them and help them navigate through life by setting both academic and personal goals that will allow them to achieve more.
Build meaningful relationships based on trust
One of the most beautiful things about mentorship is how meaningful relationships are built on the foundation of trust. All the time spent together outside the classroom enables the mentee to see his or her mentor’s sincerity in wanting to help him or her improve in life. Once sincerity is detected, students find it a lot easier to open up to their mentors and put their trust in them.
One-on-one mentoring sessions typically end with the mentees taking an inner look and figuring out how to improve their lives. Mentees who build the habit of goal-setting and self-reflection can make more accurate assessments of their strengths and weaknesses which can lead to taking the necessary steps to become better.
What are its benefits to teachers and educators?
Students aren’t the only ones that benefit from mentorship programs. While teachers themselves also need the mentorship and guidance of a veteran educator, those who choose to become mentors also get something out of it. The following are some of the things that educators take with them as they fulfill their duties as mentors:
Know and understand students more
Mentoring allows teachers to get to know their students more and understand each of their backgrounds and contexts through regular one-on-one meetings. Teachers who have a clearer understanding of what’s going on in their students’ hearts and minds can take the appropriate measures in helping them become the best people they can be.
Better opportunities to prepare students for life
Because of mentorship, educators are given the huge privilege and responsibility of opening doors for their mentees. Teachers can point their students in the right direction when it comes to educational and career opportunities. The intimate knowledge that they possess about their students’ strengths, weaknesses, triumphs, and struggles give them a better idea of how to help prepare their mentees for life.
Unparalleled satisfaction and fulfillment as an educator
Mentorship is not an easy thing to do. As mentioned earlier, it is quite a huge burden as it is an honor. All the hard work, however, pays off once a mentor sees his or her mentee start changing for the better, able to take on life’s challenges, and change the course of their lives for the better. Knowing that they had a hand in making the world a more beautiful place because one positively-changed life is worth all the blood, sweat, and tears they put in.
Mentorship is a crucial aspect of education for both the student and teacher. It helps both of them become the best individuals they can be. Teachers need mentors to fulfill their God-given duties and roles as educators while students need mentors to help them fully realize their potential in life.