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Steve Haberlin's picture
Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and author of Meditation in the College Classroom: A Pedagogical Tool to Help Students De-Stress, Focus,...
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Mentoring-Who's really benefitting

Ive heard it said that if you really want to learn something~ teach it to others.
This concept has really hit home for me~ now that I have begun mentoring aspiring teachers.
Having recently taken on an intern from a local university~ I have been forced to reconsider my methods and knowledge as an educator. Truth be told~ you cant teach someone else to be effective if dont have your own act together.
As I observe the intern and provide feedback~ I am subconsciously evaluating my own teaching philosophy and methods. In essence~ I am retraining myself.
If you are a teacher~ who has experience and in a position to mentor someone entering the profession~ I highly recommend it as a way to keep you on the path of professional growth (each school district had different requirements~ so make sure to check to see what training or experience you may need to serve as a mentor).
While I usually write about gifted education and how that applies to the general classroom~ I have decided to dedicate this blog to convincing you why you should mentor. It is a valuable experience that serves teachers in any position.

Education majors coming out of college have access to the latest and greatest research and advancements in the field. They can share with you new methods for differentiation~ incorporating technology in the classroom~ and other information. Those new to teaching also bring new energy and life to your school. Their fire for teaching is still strong and that energy can help infuse you with new interest in the profession.

Mentoring others~ as stated said earlier~ forces you to examine your own process for teaching. It helps you discover weaknesses in your own approach by causing self-reflection to occur. For example~ my intern and I actually came up with a better way to assess my gifted students progress on projects. Now~ that method has become standard procedure~ and I am seeing much better results. Mentees become a second-set of eyes in the classroom and help provide a new perspective~ which in turn~ can help you improve.

If nothing else~ mentoring someone makes you feel good. You are helping someone start a new career~ often times their first one~ and this can be very fulfilling. It feels good to share your experiences with this person~ and perhaps through your efforts~ help this future educator become more successful.

Hopefully~ by now~ I have convinced you of the benefits of mentoring. The process can benefit both the mentor and mentee~ but as in my case~ I feel like I am learning and growing just as much as the person assigned to me.
Thank you for reading this blog~ and if you would like to comment on this topic please visit the Gifted and Enrichment Group athttp://community.educationworld.comcontent/mentoring-whos-really-benefitting-0?gid=NTEyMQ==