We finally reconvened after a long, beautiful summer. Our discussion was centered on defining what mentoring really is. Many ideas:
one who inspires
walks alongside you
helps you to think
not afraid to point out things you need to work on
more experience in certain situation than you
We talked about how a mentor needs a vision, both for themselves and those they mentor. Weekly interviews are a major part of getting our proteges to catch that vision for themselves as well.
We talked about being an example for our mentees and showing them the way by example. How many of us have gleaned positive things from those who inadvertently mentored us (i.e. our parents)? It's amazing how much our children pick up on without our even knowing it. :-)
I remember my mom telling me a story about how she was worried about how her kids were going to turn out. My dad responded, "Then we better not get involved!" In other words, he knew that we needed to pave our own paths.
From the Student Whisperer we learn about seven different types of mentors:
1. Parent mentors
2. Soul Mentors (Anne Shirley's "kindred spirit")
3. Expert Mentors (those with knowledge of a skill you want to learn)
4. Leadership Mentors (guides in the liberal arts)
5. Mission mentors (helping you with your specific mission)
6. Gurus (religious mentors)
7. Epiphanies (people, experiences or events that change you)
And, to conclude, I have been fascinated and inspired by the writings of Charlotte Mason. She said,
Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking––the strain would be too great––but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest. We cannot give the children these interests; we prefer that they should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care?