How to find a good mentor

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Top 10 Qualities of a Good Mentor

A good mentoring relationship provides new employees as well as interns with someone that will share their professional knowledge and expertise in the field. A good mentor is available to answer any questions relevant to the job. Good mentor-mentee relationships are a two way street; consequently, if you want a good relationship with your mentor, become a good mentee. This requires a genuine interest in your mentor and a willingness to do what it takes to become successful as an intern or new employee in the field. Following suggestions and recommendations as well as reading all pertinent literature available in the field is a good way to show your mentor that you are committed to being successful and that you take your career and responsibilities seriously.

Mentors are an important part of personal and professional development. They are guides through times when people need someone that is able to point them in the right direction. Good mentors are enthusiastic people, enjoying the role they play in helping others achieve their goals.

There are many qualities of a good mentor. While considering a mentor, look for someone who is enthusiastic, a good fit, respectful of others and a respected expert in their field. This will help you get the results you want and hopefully create a beneficial relationship for both you and your chosen mentor.

Mentors Should Be Enthusiastic About the Role

When you are looking for a mentor, you should key in on one very important aspect of the possible mentor's personality. They need to be enthusiastic—almost to the point of being too enthusiastic.

You should feel their sincerity in the way they present their desire to help you. Good mentors are passionate about their yearning to help others and receive their rewards not in the form of materialistic items or money, but in seeing the people they have helped become successful.

A Mentor Should Fit You

You may have many people to choose from when you are shopping for a mentor. This can be similar to shopping for a shirt. If you find a style you like, the one that fits might be at the middle of the pile or be the last one you look at.

Many people will try to manipulate you over your life and career, trying to become an influencer and develop you in the way that worked for them, or that they think is best.

A good mentor will create a strategy that fits your needs, talents, skills, and desires and push you towards a better you—not towards a clone of themselves.

Mentors Value Learning

Good mentors are life-long learners and should want to pass that desire on to everyone they come in contact with. They should realize that while they are experts, they cannot possibly know everything.

A valuable trait in a mentor (and to be frank, in everyone else) is the understanding that it is ok to be an expert and not know something. A mentor that can answer a question with, "I don't know, but I will find you an answer" is someone worth spending time with.

Good mentors will be excited to share their knowledge with you and be willing to explore the possibility that you may have answers that they do not. A mentor that will learn from their mentee is indeed worthy of your respect and time.

Mentors Encourage You To Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

All people have a zone in which they operate and live in. They are comfortable and able to excel in this zone. This is called a comfort zone.

To grow, you'll need to need to step outside of your comfort zone to be able to have new experiences and learn. A good mentor is capable of identifying your comfort zone and developing steps and activities within your goals that will force you to become comfortable outside of your zone.

They Are Active Listeners

A mentor needs to be able to listen to what you are saying. They should be involved in the conversation, prompting you for clarity or more information.

They shouldn't be distracted when you are talking to them. A person that is always allowing themselves to be interrupted by phones, emails, or people walking by when in a session with you is not actively listening.

A good mentor will not have any distractions when you are talking with them, focusing on you and taking part in the conversation. They will ask questions, reflect on your answers and even give you some silence when you need to think.

Mentors Know How to Provide Feedback

Everyone can benefit from feedback. Even the most skilled and knowledgeable person is a beginner at something, requiring feedback to continue to grow in their new skills.

Feedback is essential to improvement. A mentor should create long-term objectives and short-term goals with you to help you become the expert you want to be.

Feedback should be provided during each session with your mentor. It should not be degrading, but should simply inform you of a shortcoming, and identify corrective actions you can take to be more successful the next time.

They Treat Others Respectfully

Respect for others is not limited to mentors, but it should be on your list of requirements for yours.

Mentors should know how to be tactful in their conversations, and be emotionally intelligent. Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of emotions in others and oneself, and be able to make decisions and influence others while controlling emotions and feeling empathy for those they are dealing with.

Mentors shouldn't be judgemental of others, voice their opinions of people, or talk down to you about others. "Don't do this like John does, he's not very good at this." This is not helpful to you or John, and violates the privacy expected from a mentor.

They Are Experts In Their Field

Mentors are not just respectful, enthusiastic people. They should be considered an expert in their field, and be in the same field you are hoping to become an expert in. It is possible for a mentor to not be in an expert in the field you work in and provide excellent guidance, but you generally should stick with an expert in your field.

Your choice of a mentor should be respected by their peers, and yours. If you choose a mentor that is not well-known in the industry, you may not get the results you desire. Many people use mentors not only as guides to develop themselves but to associate themselves with the name of that mentor.

If your field is archeology, and your mentor is Dr. Jones (the respected and well-known professor and archeologist), you'll have the benefit of being the doctor's protege. This gives you much-needed credibility while ensuring that you have been instructed and guided correctly.

However, if Dr. Jones (the archeologist who discovered a 10-year-old basket of plastic eggs behind a bush in his backyard) is your mentor, you might not find yourself receiving the guidance or experience you were hoping for.

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How to find a good mentor

How to find a good mentor

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We aim to close the mentoring gap and drive equity through quality mentoring relationships for young people. Potential is equally distributed; opportunity is not. We activate a movement across sectors that is diverse and broad and seeps into every aspect of daily life. We are connecting and fueling opportunity for young people everywhere they are from schools to workplaces and beyond.

How to find a good mentor

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Raise your voice, share your knowledge, and affect positive change through engagement with Congress and other influencers in your communities by calling on them to prioritize relationships for young people.

How to find a good mentor

Mentoring can be a vital relationship and resource either personally, professionally, or both.

Our mentor group names below reflect the positivity and support that mentors offer.

After the list, find our tips for creating your own mentor group name.

  1. The Expertise Alliance
  2. Positive Impact
  3. The Confidantes
  4. SkillUp [3]
  5. Encourage & Engage
  6. Proficiency Partners
  7. The Path [4]
  8. Trust Network
  9. Excel & Elevate [3]
  10. Support Squad
  11. Active Achievement [3]
  12. Conscious Efforts
  13. Lead by Example
  14. Crucial Components
  15. Journey Inspiration
  16. Mind to Mind [4]
  17. Wisdom in Practice
  18. CreatiVision [4]
  19. Confidence Builders
  20. Effective Empathy
  21. Club Success [4]
  22. Aspirations & Expectations
  23. Open Discussions
  24. The Feedback Force
  25. Passion Chasers [3]
  26. Learning League
  27. The Supportive Set
  28. Reputation of Success
  29. Ongoing Conversations
  30. WINspiration: a play on “inspiration” [4]
  31. The Guidance Group
  32. Inspiration by Example
  33. MentorPoint [4]
  34. Clear Path Forward
  35. Insider’s Perspectives
  36. Key Advocates
  37. Success on Track
  38. PrePAIR: a play on “prepare” and mentorship pairs [4]
  39. A Reality Check
  40. High Five Force
  41. Paying Knowledge Forward
  42. Bring Out the Best
  43. Intentional Investments
  44. Believing in You
  45. PEP: Personal Enrichment Program [5]
  46. A Significant Presence
  47. Motivation Station
  48. Grounded in Trust
  49. Focus on Solutions
  50. AIM: Achievement in Motion
  51. Changing Perspectives
  52. The Solution Squad
  53. Continued Insight
  54. MIND: Mentoring in New Dimensions [6]
  55. The Growth Group
  56. Invaluably Elevated
  57. Path to Success
  58. Significant Effects
  59. CBM: Community-Based Mentoring [7]
  60. Achieve & Succeed
  61. Empowered to Pursue
  62. With Consistency
  63. The Essentials
  64. Sense of Significance
  65. Empower Talents [4]
  66. Where Trust Blooms
  67. The Gift of Perspective
  68. ABM: Association of Business Mentors [7]
  69. An Ear to Listen
  70. In the Right Direction
  71. Reaching the Heights
  72. Supplemental Strengths
  73. A Driving Force
  74. Attainment Alliance
  75. Dare Mighty Things [7]
  76. Learning Curve Summit
  77. Zenith of Success
  78. Learning on the Daily
  79. TeamProtege [4]
  80. Fruition of Dreams
  81. Knowledge Is Power
  82. ForceForward [4]
  83. Achievement Corps
  84. Epilogue of Success
  85. Skillful Squad
  86. Knack for Knowledge
  87. The Forte Force

How to Create a Good Mentor Group Name

Mentors bring to mind enthusiasm and guidance toward personal and/or professional development.

Mentors have a crucial asset new business owners lack — experience.

Every year in the United States, an average of 587,000 new small businesses are born. The bad news is only half survive five years. And by the time you get to 10 years, that number is cut to one-third. But, there are ways to increase your odds of survival. Working with a mentor has proven to be an indicator of success. Here are five reasons why.

/>izusek | Getty Images

1. Mentors put statistics back on your side.

The survival rate of new businesses is understandably intimidating to entrepreneurs, but those numbers can change drastically when you add a mentor to the equation. According to a survey by The UPS Store, 70 percent of mentored businesses survive more than five years. That’s double the rate of businesses who choose not to have a mentor.

New small business owners often lack one fundamental thing — experience. It takes years upon years, and sometimes lots of money, to gain the business experience to run a successful company. Mentors give you the opportunity to draw on that experience right away — and for free.

Running or starting a business will never play out precisely as you planned. When you hit a roadblock, small or large, mentors with business experience likely have come across something similar before and know strategies to move forward. Harvard Business Review surveyed 45 CEOs with formal mentor relationships, and 84 percent said as a result, they have avoided costly mistakes and became proficient in their roles faster. In the same study, 69 percent said mentors helped them make better decisions, and 71 percent were certain company performance improved.

2. A mentor’s support and motivation can be invaluable.

It can be lonely at the top. Starting a small or medium-sized business means you don’t have a boss above you that supplies employee motivation and engagement programs, which can be vital for worker happiness and success. A mentor can often fill this void, acting as a coach to provide support, motivation, validation and encouragement.

3. SMB mentors offer accountability for entrepreneurs.

A good small business mentor can help define critical tasks and guide your business goals — and more importantly, help the company hold itself accountable for meeting them. Not only does accountability help companies meet these goals toward success, it fosters a culture of self-reliance and self-confidence.

This is where mentorship becomes a two-way street. Maintaining consistent meetings with your mentor is the only way to ensure accountability. You must put in the effort to make the relationship work.

4. Working with a mentor widens your network.

Potential clients, employees and other sources of advice — all these types of people, and more, can be unlocked when you have a business mentor. A mentor brings their own network of invaluable people, and those contacts could be at your disposal. Have a specific business problem? A mentor may know the right person to turn to for help. Looking for the perfect person for a new role in the company? They could also recommend a contact from their experience in the industry. Having a stacked contact list is crucial for your business in the long run.

5. Where to find a mentor.

There are several places you can look for a mentor.

SCORE: Partnering with the U.S. Small Business Association, SCORE is a nonprofit that helps connect small businesses with volunteer mentors of both active and retired executives and entrepreneurs across 62 industries. There are 300 chapters across the country, so you can connect with a local mentor to meet in person, or you can set up video or email relationships.

Local networking events: These events are designed to connect you to other business professionals. Look for conferences or networking events for both your specific industry and small businesses in general, and try to speak to as many people as you can.

SBDCs: Small Business Development Centers provide assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses by way of training sessions and free business consulting. Host networks for SBDCs are located all across the U.S. and its territories. Search for a location near you by using a tool on SBA.gov.

Women’s Business Centers: The Association of Women’s Business Centers sustains a network of 100 business centers across the United States, each of which supports female entrepreneurs with mentoring, as well as training, business development and finance opportunities. The AWBC also runs conferences, which can be great places to connect with potential mentors. Find a WBC near you.

Veterans Business Outreach Center: VBOCs provide many entrepreneurial development services, including mentorship, to veterans, transitioning service members, National Guard & Reserve members and military spouses who are starting or growing a small business. You can search for locations near you on the SBA.gov website.

MBDA Business Centers: As an agency with the Department of Congress, the Minority Business Development Agency works to promote the growth of minority-owned businesses, in part through business centers located across the country in areas with the highest concentration of minority populations and minority business owners.

Professional and trade associations: For a price, you can join a professional or trade association in your industry. Those dues go toward investments in many things, including education and networking — usually with experienced business leaders in your industry.

Social media: Don’t neglect your own personal network when it comes to finding a mentor. LinkedIn and Twitter can be great resources for connecting with other professionals and potential mentors.

No matter where you turn to find a mentor, connecting with the right one should be a key step in your business plan. The right mentor can guide you through tough business choices and help set you up for success for years to come.

How to find a good mentor

You’re always looking to become a better leader. It’s one of the qualities that has got you where you are today. But you probably never saw yourself as the ideal mentor, right?

Regardless, mentor leadership is a critical component of business success today, as it develops great people, which leads to growth and profitability. So you need to know about it.

What is mentor leadership?

Mentor leadership is the art of leading a team through effective mentorship of its members. It’s also a tried and trusted method for developing the best leaders of tomorrow.

Mentoring is something that can be done successfully by anybody in a position of experience. The role of the mentor is simply to nurture the mentee, encouraging them to learn, grow and upskill. This empowers them not only to perform better in their role but progress further in their career.

Mentors can also benefit from their mentoring experience. This is called reverse mentoring. Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, popularised reverse mentoring, when he paired up 500 of his top executives with junior associates so they could learn how to use the internet.

The point here is that, although we may be senior, we don’t necessarily have all the answers. There is much to be learned from nurturing and interacting with team members of all ages and experience levels.

Why mentoring is essential to good leadership

Mentoring is super important for leaders because, put simply, it brings the best out of the people you lead. Mentoring generates confidence, inspires trust and fast-tracks team development.

A big part of your own leadership development is determining what sort of a leader you want to be. The “transformational leadership” style is often considered among the most desirable by employees. The hallmarks of transformational leadership are:

  • The ability to inspire staff through effective communication
  • Creating an environment of intellectual stimulation

Mentor leadership aligns perfectly with this managerial style. If it’s the route you’d like to take to become a more inspirational, more effective leader, here are some quick wins for you to try.

“They will feel a stronger connection to you as a leader and the organisation as a whole for investing in their skills and future”

3 quick wins: how to be a good mentor and get the best out of your team

1. Be open and honest about your own mistakes

I recall at the beginning of my career thinking that everyone senior to me had it all figured out. I was terrified of making mistakes because I thought I’d look like a complete idiot. Maybe you remember feeling the same?

But the truth is, we all made mistakes didn’t we? However senior or experienced somebody is now, at some point or another they were still learning, they had to tackle some unfamiliar tasks and they inevitably made a mistake.

As a leadership mentor, it’s up to you to break through the barrier between you and your team. Why not tell a story about a time when you were faced with a similar challenge to theirs, or share a humorous anecdote detailing a stuff up you made. Storytelling is an effective way to get people’s attention and make your point, so use it as an opportunity to impart some wisdom or teach a lesson.

Open up, be honest about your mistakes and reveal your own vulnerability. It makes you infinitely more human, approachable and a better leader.

How to find a good mentor

2. Take a genuine interest in your team members as people

Just as you want your team to see past your title and experience, it’s important that you get to know your team members on a personal level. I don’t mean you have to invite yourself to their social events (although team drinks can be a great bonding exercise), but getting to know your mentee on a deeper level will help you build a stronger relationship with them.

It’ll also help you to understand who they are as a person, their strengths and weaknesses, how they interact with others, and so on.

Mentor leadership is all about being an active listener. Listen closely to what your mentee is saying, ask considered questions to get to the heart of the matter and play the role of sounding board. Ultimately, the goal of leading and coaching is to empower your team members to make their own good decisions, rather than give them the answers.

3. Invest in quality training for your team

Investing in highly beneficial and quality training (like our Mastering Communication training program) helps to engage people more with their role. As they learn valuable new skills, like how to present confidently in public or get buy-in from stakeholders, they’ll want to put them into practice the following week at work.

Not only that but they will feel a stronger connection to you as a leader and the organisation as a whole for investing in their skills and future. It’s a powerful way to cultivate gratitude and loyalty in valuable employees.

Eugene McGarrell, General Manager, Health and Community Engagement at iCare booked his team onto our Mastering Communication program. His team benefitted so much from the training, he decided to sign up for the program too!

“When my team came back from the program they were very energized and enthusiastic. I hadn’t had that sort of feedback from other programs before from my team. When I heard what they’d learned and seen the difference it had made it really confirmed that we’d invested in the right program and that I should do the program myself.”

Hazel Mijango, Project Manager, Royal Commission Retail Banking Services, CBA was recommended to attend the training by her manager. Just one week after the program, Hazel was offered a promotion to a role she was eager to take on. She was able to apply the skills she’d learned during the training to deliver her message in a clear and polished way.

Mentor leadership is beneficial on so many levels and not as difficult as you might think. Why not start by investing in our training for your team and see what transformational changes it can bring.

The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.

So I’ve been writing for a while (generally film/tv stuff) and working in production for quite some time (for NYC-based productions.) I’m doing pretty well in screenplay competitions, but no finalist placements yet. I’ve decided that this is the year I find representation and actually do something with, you know, the passion that I’d like to be more of a career.

The trouble is that I have no idea how to go about this effectively or in a way that won’t feel like banging my head against a wall. Several people, including my therapist and my wife, have separately made the very good point that what I need is a mentor and/or (preferably "and") a writing community that I can consult. And of course they’re absolutely correct. But I have even less of an idea about how to do that.

I went to a top film school, but that was almost twenty years ago and I’ve lost touch with most of my friends from those days, and the ones I’ve stayed close with weren’t really in the "writing" side of the game so much. Similarly, my production career path has led me into a niche in non-fiction, so I don’t really have any professional resources to draw on.

I’m not looking for advice on finding an agent. (I won’t turn it away, mind you, but I’m aware that it’s going to be a lot of cold-calls and query letters, and going to industry gatherings once those start up again and learning how to schmooze without alcohol, etc.) What I’m looking for is advice on finding people doing similar things, or who have gone through this recently enough to be a helpful guide.

Does anyone have any helpful tips here? Thank you.

I would recommend asking around in your local film/tv community about where people are taking classes. Classes are a good opportunity to meet a lot of other writers who may have similar professional aspirations. It might take a few different classes to find a good community or teacher. From there, I’d recommend joining up with their existing writing groups or starting your own group with classmates who have writing you admire, or write in a similar genre. In my experience, people usually have small groups (like 3 – 7 people) where they share feedback on scripts and professional opportunities.

I would also recommend going to virtual panels where working writers are speaking, because people often ask about this type of thing in Q&A’s. Especially since all the film festivals are (or should be) virtual this year, I’m seeing a lot of free or otherwise especially accessible panels pop up.

I’m not familiar with any NYC local ones, but there are also larger communities that help writers get hooked up with professional mentors. If you are a member of a marginalized group or write in a certain genre, you might find groups specifically focused on that. Another good way to tap into writer communities is to ask around for any groups that set up table-reads for scripts, like Deadline Junkies. Sometimes these events have awesome and very active communities around them. Hope this helps and you find some great folks!
posted by sweetjane at 3:49 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

I found my writing group by attending a local writing conference, and I’ve met other writers by attending conferences. With the pandemic, a lot of that stuff has moved online. AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) has their online conference starting March 3. I’m not sure how much if any is specific to screenwriting, but you could also google screenwriting conferences. AWP seems to have a mentorship program, which I know absolutely nothing about. (I’m very new to AWP. A writing friend was going and suggested I join her. )

I’m also taking a class now with writingworkshops.com. They do have screenwriting classes, and that can also be a way to meet people.
posted by FencingGal at 6:56 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

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How to find a good mentor

As an entrepreneur, it’s exciting to go it alone and create something on your own. However, the reality is that, while you have a great idea, you may not know exactly what you should be doing with your business at which times to develop it into a sustainable business.

I’ve had several mentors over the years and learned a large amount of valuable lessons from each and every one of them. From not making certain business decisions to fostering certain partnerships, a mentor can help guide you through your entrepreneurial journey.

Here are ten other reasons why you need someone like a mentor:

1. Mentors provide information and knowledge. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” When I was starting out, I had no idea what was involved in running a business, including making a business plan, budgeting, handling daily operations, making strategic decisions or running a marketing campaign. With a mentor there from the start, I tapped into a wealth of knowledge that got me up to speed faster and shortened that learning curve.

2. Mentors can see where we need to improve where we often cannot. Movie maker George Lucas noted, “Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults that we would like. It’s the only way we grow.” They will always be brutally honest with you and tell you exactly how it is rather than downplay any weaknesses they see in you.

This constructive criticism that my mentor offered helped me to see things in myself that I could not recognize. I appreciated that insight because I didn’t want someone to pad my ego. (Well, I did want someone to pad my ego, but I had to decide that the business was more important.) Instead, I wanted to know exactly where I was lacking so I could improve those areas.

3. Mentors find ways to stimulate our personal and professional growth. Another famous movie director explained, “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” My mentor would often pose questions for me to think about and ask me to come back with answers later.

He would also set various goals for me and let me loose to see if I could accomplish them on my own, all the while watching from a distance to see how these projects helped me to develop. He then made a point to sit down and tell me what he’d observed about me through the project process, what he thought was worth keeping – and definitely what he would immediately throw out. He also focused on character and values, which nurtured my personal growth as well as my leadership abilities.

4. Mentors offer encouragement and help keep us going. Inspirational entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey stated, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” They are there no matter what and offer moral support sprinkled heavily with cheerleading. There were times that, if there wasn’t a mentor there for me, I could have easily, “caved-in,” emotionally, or given up on the business. However, I had a mentor and each one I had wouldn’t let me stop but provided the encouragement and guidance that gave me hope and confidence that I could do whatever was asked of me.

5. Mentors are disciplinarians that create necessary boundaries that we cannot set for ourselves. I experienced a lot of tough love from my mentor. He did this because he understood that being an entrepreneur can be challenging when it comes to self-motivation and self-discipline. He took on this role of parent to teach me good work habits and provided the boundaries for me to work within. This solidified my work ethic, sharpened my focus, (I really missed some important essentials), and clarified my priorities in a way that I could not do on my own.

6. Mentors are sounding boards so we can bounce ideas off them for an unfiltered opinion. When I started, I had numerous ideas for all types of business ventures and products. I relayed all of these to my mentor who then helped me see which ones had potential and why others were better left alone. I appreciated his candor because I might have otherwise pursued a business idea that had no legs.

7. Mentors are trusted advisers. In the world of business, it can be hard to know who to trust – and that you can trust someone, especially with proprietary information or intellectual property. Since he was an objective third-party with no stake in any idea or venture, he was happy to let me know what he thought. In return, I knew that he would keep everything I told him confidential rather than sell it to someone else or steal an idea from me.

8. Mentors can be connectors. Playing a dual role of teacher and connector, a mentor can provide access to those within your industry that are willing to invest in your company, offer their skills and expertise, introduce you to talent that can fuel your business and help you get closer to your target audience. My mentor willingly shared his network with me, taking me to events and making introductions that led to many opportunities I would not have otherwise had.

9. Mentors have the experiences you can learn from to prevent making the same mistakes beginners make. Starting a business is challenging enough, so if you can skip doing things the hard way, why wouldn’t you? A mentor has been there, right where you are, and has made numerous mistakes that they can now use as a basis for helping others to skip the devastating effects of not knowing.

I am all about doing things smarter, so my mentor shared many stories about the mistakes he made along the way that became learning lessons for me minus the pain and lost resources that come from making those mistakes.

10. Mentors are free, which makes them priceless in more ways than one. Typically, a mentoring relationship will grow organically through connections within your industry and network. A mentor does not do it for the money. Instead, they are driven by the satisfaction of helping another entrepreneur, paying it forward from a similar experience they had when starting their own business.

I feel fortunate enough to have had this experience and am now in a position to return the favor to others that are just starting out. Not only is the price right, but your mentor is also providing priceless access to everything noted on this list and more.

Having a mentor is not a sign of weakness; it shows you are smart enough and are driven enough to succeed.

The construction sector, like most other industries, has been a big beneficiary of mentoring, irrespective of whether these have been formal or informal arrangements. Taking someone under your wing to “show them the ropes” can be an extremely rewarding experience for both the mentor and mentee.

How to find a good mentor

Iain Parker is a founding partner at Alinea

But, given the strain on organisations over the past 18 months, combined with the rise of hybrid working, is the concept and effectiveness of mentoring actually falling away?

We are living in transformative times, gripped by a pandemic and an industry which needs to become fit for purpose in a world where climate change is putting all industries in the spotlight, not least property and construction.

Our interactions – and how we go about our professional and private lives – is under constant review, and we will need to develop a suite of tools to cope with these pressures. Perhaps now, then, is the time to remind ourselves of the value of mentoring.

Mentoring can, mistakenly, be considered to be merely a form of career assistance, but when working well it is so much more than that

Mentoring can, mistakenly, be considered to be merely a form of career assistance, but when working well it is so much more than that. More than just a coffee chat every once in a while to put the world to rights.

Effective mentors are the wind beneath someone’s wings when they are concerned about crashing to the ground. But mentors do not just appear out of the blue.

They need to be found – and the search for the right person is often a trial and error experience. There needs to be a certain chemistry between the two individuals, founded upon mutual respect, trust and reciprocity.

I cannot remember a better time in my life than now to have a mentor to help guide people through a series of challenges: career development in a changing industry that needs to modernise, transformative ways of working that are reducing physical interaction rather than enhancing it and a staggering rise in mental health issues for a generation fuelled with media’s constant bad news, communicated instantaneously by publishing channels and social media.

While political, economic and social landscapes change, the need for perspective, wisdom and guidance when trying to make your mark in the world remains a constant

While political, economic and social landscapes change from time to time (and these changes can be quite significant over the course of a career) the need for perspective, wisdom and guidance when trying to make your mark in the world remains a constant. When contemplating your choice of mentor, it is important to remember the key qualities needed if that person is to provide valuable guidance and support.

Perhaps the first thing on the list is accessibility, as a good mentor is one who is available. This is partly a two-way concept as the mentor is likely to be a busy individual, so making time for you should be repaid through proper preparation in order to make the most of time spent together.

Next on the list would be genuineness, as the mentor must be interested in helping you on your journey as they see your potential and want to help you unleash it.

Great mentors are bright enough to resist recreating a copy of themselves, but rather aim to guide you on your own journey in trying to help you realise your potential based on your own skills and enthusiasm.

Another key quality of a mentor would be impartiality. An effective mentor would be one who gives honest feedback, rather than always trying to be your “best friend”.

Objective feedback is an important part of learning and a good mentor should constructively challenge as much as they praise, and all good mentees should be keen to seek objective feedback if they are to develop and grow.

As I look around the industry at companies I know well, it is not difficult to see how leaders of organisations have acted as mentors for others who have been in their slipstream, helping them to develop their own skills to one day become the next generation of leadership. As I write this, I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes, which is to say “leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders”.

The benefits of mentoring can be significant, and include inspiring action towards purpose and goals, creating more ways for mentees to get exposure to opportunities aligned with their interests and capabilities, enhancing engagement and providing a way for people to connect with others they may not have access to otherwise. Mentoring is at the heart of cross-pollinating knowledge, ideas and best practice across an organisation and helps to develop decision-making and critical thinking skills.

Those who play the long game under the guidance of great mentors are more likely to achieve their full potential

Having said all of this, there is also another dimension at play here, and it is a really important one: loyalty. With a continued skills shortage in the construction industry, exacerbated by the huge levels of redundancies through the pandemic, the competition for talent will be fierce over coming years.

This then highlights the need for re-energised mentoring and the building of trust and loyalty. Organisations that do this well would hope that the next generation focus on learning, developing and building careers rather than being tempted to move to that notorious grass which is, apparently, greener.

Those who play the long game under the guidance of great mentors are more likely to achieve their full potential, and that has to be rewarding for all concerned. After all, a mentor is a brain to pick, an ear to listen and a means to push in the right direction.

We acquired mentor from the literature of ancient Greece. In Homer’s epic The Odyssey, Odysseus was away from home fighting and journeying for 20 years. During that time, Telemachus, the son he left as a babe in arms, grew up under the supervision of Mentor , an old and trusted friend. When the goddess Athena decided it was time to complete the education of young Telemachus, she visited him disguised as Mentor and they set out together to learn about his father. Today, we use the word mentor for anyone who is a positive, guiding influence in another (usually younger) person’s life.

Examples of mentor in a Sentence

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘mentor.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mentor

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

1918, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mentor

as name borrowed from Latin Mentōr, borrowed from Greek Méntōr; as generic noun borrowed from French mentor, after Mentor, character in the novel Les aventures de Télémaque (1699) by the French cleric and writer François Fénelon (1651-1715), based on characters in the Odyssey

Note: In Fénelon’s work Mentor is a principal character, and his speeches and advice to Telemachus during their travels constitute much of the book’s substance.

Oftentimes, workshops go over so many different topics and techniques that we leave feeling overwhelmed. That’s why we created the Jam Series; we wanted to keep these workshops hyper-focused so that you leave feeling empowered and inspired. We’ve gathered an all-star cast of industry leaders to facilitate these workshops TOGETHER – no need to attend 10 different workshops to learn 10 different techniques!

About The Massage Mentor Institute: Humble beginnings .

In 2019, Diane Matkowski, aka The Massage Mentor and Founder of The Massage Mentor Institute, began a closed Facebook page for hosting discussions with industry leaders, The Massage Mentor Closed Group. It was there that she met Allison Denney, aka The Rebel Massage Therapist, and their journey began.

Now together, The Mentor and The Rebel are spreading their joy and contagious energy all across the massage industry through The Massage Mentor Institute.

The goal was to create a diverse variety of continuing education classes offered in one spot. The Institute is a space for practicing massage therapists to learn different approaches and varying philosophies on what works for bodywork. Not only that, you will find business classes and mentoring to further guide you on your journey.

We hope you find exactly what you need at the Massage Mentor Institute in your quest for success. We believe that no one technique works for the entire human being. Like the clients we see, the work itself is infinite and constantly changing. Our goal is to help you find your path and that the field of massage therapy is lifted as a result. We have selected teachers we trust, admire, and believe will help you grow as a licensed massage therapist.

Diane Matkowski

Creator of The Massage Mentor Institute, Jam Series Events, and the Inside Job Event Series

1 in 4 young people are unhappy with their lives – having a mentor to guide them can change the course of a young person’s life. Anyone can become a mentor. You’ll be fully trained and equipped to support a year 8 student in a school near you – all you need is the passion to make a difference.

At Raise, we provide best-practice youth mentoring programs in public high schools across Australia. As a volunteer showing up each week just for them, your support will empower them to better cope with life’s challenges and help them become more resilient and hopeful for the future.

Be a part of our mentoring movement

All you need to do is apply. We’ll train you to become a Raise Youth Mentor before matching you with a young person at a school near you. Fully supported by a Raise Program Counsellor, each week you’ll meet with your mentee 1-on-1, being there just for them, listening and providing support.

Everything you need to know about mentoring a young person is wrapped up in this short video.

5 great reasons to mentor with Raise

How to find a good mentor

How to find a good mentor

How to find a good mentor

How to find a good mentor

How to find a good mentor

Positive impact for teens today and beyond

We see measured positive growth in resilience, the ability to ask for help, a sense of school belonging and hope for the future.

How to find a good mentor

How to find a good mentor

How to find a good mentor

Testimonials

“When you finally get to the end you realise that you’ve got a very different person there than the person you started with…and that young person is going to thrive by comparison to the person they were coming in.”

“I cannot thank my son’s mentor enough for her kindness, support, understanding and guidance. I think it is an amazing program and I am so grateful that he was chosen to be a part of this. It has helped him through a very challenging year.”

“It was exactly what I needed for the longest time – a person to talk to and help me feel comfortable with myself.”

Check our program locations

Want to see where our programs are and check if there’s one near you?

Easy! Just click on your state tab, then zoom out to see all the programs running in your state. You can quickly see a program’s day, time and availability by clicking on the blue Raise logo.

No convenient programs near you.

We are expanding and adding new schools every year. Please provide your details and we’ll be in touch when a program becomes available in your area.

Want to become a youth mentor?

Please check the five boxes below to go through to the application.

  • I am 21+ (or I am a student aged 20+ studying a psychology related course)
  • I am available during school hours for 2 hours a week, at the same time & day each week, during term time from April to October
    (Relief mentors can cover 2 of your sessions if you can’t attend due to travel or sickness)
  • I will complete online training (approx 3 hours) and group training (2 x 3 hour sessions)
  • I have or will obtain and provide a Working with Children Check and a Police Check
  • I am, or will have, full COVID-19 vaccination status by 31st March 2022

Unfortunately you don’t meet the requirements to become a Raise mentor yet

The good news is there are many ways to get involved with Raise so please complete the form below to find out more.

Do you know someone who would make a great Raise mentor? Click here to send them a link to this page.

Join an interactive online session to find out more about mentoring a young person.

At Raise we acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we live, work and play and we pay our respect to Elders both past, present and emerging.

About Raise

Raise Foundation is a registered Australian charity that empowers young people to be resilient, capable and connected, ensuring there are adults in their lives who are skilled to support them. Raise is a powerful mentoring movement that creates thriving communities across Australia by impacting youth wellbeing and engagement through early intervention mentoring programs in high schools.

Recent News

  • Enjoying our time with teens these holidays December 15, 2021
  • Mentor Moments – Nick explains how mentoring is a two-way street October 27, 2021
  • Re-establishing connection as teens transition back to the school environment October 25, 2021
  • How to start conversations with teenagers October 19, 2021

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Level 3, 131 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000

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Disclaimer: Some mentee and match photos featured within our website are real, though names have been changed for privacy reasons. Where real quotes or images are used, names and images are not related to the person(s) quoted/pictured.

The figure of a mentor has been around forever, since the days of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Nowadays, people often talk about the importance of mentoring in a personal development and career context, with 'get a mentor' being a key piece of advice from successful business people the world over.

So what is a mentor?

A mentor is a person who can support, advise and guide you. They typically take the time to get to know you and the challenges you're facing, and then use their understanding and personal experience to help you improve.

This relationship is additional to a manager or boss, and benefits from a more personal and confidential structure. Mentors have the potential to become life long friends, or the relationship might only last until you've achieved a goal, there's no one size fits all. Many celebrities have publicly discussed the impact their mentors had on their success, including Christian Dior, Richard Branson, and Oprah Winfrey.

Mentoring Definition:

The act or process of helping and guiding another person to support their personal development.

Note that we've said 'personal' development here rather than 'career' development – and that's because ultimately, mentoring is about people. If someone helps you improve your confidence or self-awareness, that's going to translate beyond your day job.

What is the purpose of a mentor?

The purpose of a mentor is to help you grow as a person and become the best version of yourself.

This may involve helping you achieve your personal or career goals, introducing you to new ways of thinking, challenging your limiting assumptions, sharing valuable life lessons, and much more.

Why do people become mentors?

People choose to mentor others because it's an incredibly valuable experience; seeing somebody grow and succeed as a result of your advice is highly rewarding. There are many benefits of mentoring for the mentor as well as the mentee, such as improving communication and developing leadership skills.

Harvard Business Review conducted a study researching the positive effects of mentoring, and found that people who served as mentors also experienced lower levels of anxiety, and described their job as more meaningful, than those who did not mentor.

What makes a good mentor?

This quote highlights the essence of a good mentor: somebody that does not tell you what to do, but helps you figure it out for yourself.

Traits of a good mentor include:

  • Being a good listener
  • Asking good questions
  • Empathetic
  • Encouraging
  • Self-aware
  • Personable
  • Honest

Misconceptions about mentoring

There are a few common misconceptions about mentoring that affect the way people think about what a mentor is.

We want to set the record straight in this mentoring myth busting:

  • "Mentors have to be old" – Mentoring has no age requirements, and older people can benefit from being mentored by younger people. What's important is relevant experience.
  • "Mentoring only benefits mentees" – Mentoring has heaps of benefits for both the mentor, including communication and leadership skills, increased fulfilment, likelihood of promotion and more. Read all the benefits here.
  • "Mentoring is elitist" – It's not about senior managers taking prodigies 'under their wing'. Modern mentoring is fair and inclusive (when established right).
  • "You're either a mentor or a mentee" – In fact, 89% of people with a mentor go on to be a mentor themselves.
  • "My mentor has to be similar to me" – Familiarity is nice, but the best learning happens when you're exposed to different ways of thinking.

So how do you find a mentor?

If you have somebody that you admire in mind to be your mentor, we recommend you reach out to them for a coffee, or a video call. Say you’d love to pick their brains about a certain topic, and have some questions ready – don't ask them to be your mentor straight away!

If you have good chemistry and you can see their experience being valuable to you in your career journey, then ask them if they'd be happy to meet more often and mentor you. Read our full guide here: How To Find A Great Mentor 🤝

However, sometimes it's hard to find a mentor on your own. You might not know the right people, or feel intimidated to reach out to someone. In that case, speak to your organisation. More and more companies are running formal mentoring programs than ever, so there's a good chance your company can support you.

If you're an employer looking to establish or scale mentoring, get in touch with Guider here.

Read more.

How to find a good mentorThe Best Communication Techniques for Mentors

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How to find a good mentor

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How to find a good mentor

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How to find a good mentor

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How to find a good mentor

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How to find a good mentor

A good mentor is a gift from the Universe. If you find one, do everything you can to convince them that it is worth their while to mentor you. I am fortunate to be on both sides of the table almost on a weekly basis — meaning I have awesome mentors that inspire me and hold me accountable and I also happen to have awesome mentees who are enthusiastic about learning and are like my extended family.

Here are 9 characteristics (in no particular order) of a good mentor:

1. Conversations

In general, the basic mode of mentoring is having meaningful conversations that will move the needle in areas of your life or business that matter most to you. A conversation that moves the needle is “effectuation in action.” It is one that makes the most of your strengths, factoring in your current constraints and creates a set of possibilities that will show you how to make meaningful progress in a reasonable amount of time.

2. Commitment

A good mentor goes beyond to change his or her agenda and strive to make you a better YOU. Such a mentor is committed to your growth journey through the ups and downs you experience, and entering and navigating you out of your “comfort zone” to make something extraordinary happen.

You can measure the commitment of a mentor by the tough questions they ask, with the intent to get you to see things that you are not otherwise seeing, and get you ‘unstuck.’ If a Mentor is always saying great things and making you feel really good all the time, perhaps he or she is being a ‘cheering friend,’ but not a ‘caring mentor.’

3. Curiosity

As they say, “if you are doing what you have been doing, you will continue to get the results you have got.” There are exceptions to this rule, but that’s outside the scope of what we are discussing here.

There is a reason why you continue to do what you are doing even when it may not be producing the results you are expecting in your life or business. These less-than-effective activities may have become ‘dragging’ habits. Whatever the reasons may be, it is not too late to change course.

As Charles Duhigg says in his landmark book, “The Power of Habit,” the three elements of creating a habit are cue, routine and reward. A cue triggers an almost automatic routine that is producing a reward as a result of you engaging in the activity.

So, to a start a new and better habit, you need to start with a different cue – something that you may not be aware of. A pre-cursor to that is for you to generate the curiosity to look at the same things that you are exposed to today with a different set of eyes.

A good mentor opens up the doors to curiosity so that you get back that childlike enthusiasm to learn and grow.

4. Clarity

Clarity is the side-effect of a good mentoring relationship. Think about it – you are very close to your life/business so it is hard for you to get a “helicopter view” of the same. In a good mentoring relationship, this comes automatically as your mentor is someone who cares about your life and business and by default has a “helicopter view” of both of them. The conversations automatically help you discover the “forest for the trees” – thus bringing clarity to your goals and actions.

5. Capacity

Power from a philosophical perspective is the “capacity to take action to produce meaningful results.” You increase your capacity and you can produce better and bigger results in the same amount of time. Sometimes it’s a small shift in the way you are thinking that will put your capacity into high gear. Your mentor can unlock that untapped capacity which you can put to work to accelerate your success rate.

A good way to know this is if at the end of a conversation with your mentor, you begin to find some things that seemed “impossible” seem totally “possible.”

6. Confidence

Confidence will empower you and will give you the motivation to take the right actions. Sometimes what might be preventing you from taking those right actions (even when you know you should) are the limiting beliefs you have about yourself and the lack of confidence in pulling something off. A good mentor may not give you strength, but helps you discover your hidden strengths and help you move beyond your limiting beliefs. “A good mentor believes in you lot more than you believe in yourself, and becomes your champion,” says Dr. Ravi Gundlapalli, a global thought-leader in mentoring and CEO of MentorCloud.

7. Connections

The right connections for you at the right time can instantly open new doors, expand your capacity and give you credibility by association. A good mentor thoughtfully connects you to the right people via his or her network. It is important that you grow and earn that right to deserve such introductions.

8. Choreography

Navigating out of your comfort zone is never easy and fun. Logically, there is discomfort on that path that generally creates resistance tempting you to go back to the “tried and tested” approaches. A good mentor can not only help you choose among the available options at hand, he or she can teach you how to choreograph the sequence of steps so that you get maximum leverage.

9. Celebration

In a good mentoring relationship, a mentor and mentee celebrate their relationship, the mini, micro and macro victories that they co-create together as they build a relationship that steers your life journey in a compelling way.

Last, but not the least, good mentoring relationship is a two-way street and both of you are co-creating your future. Mentor benefits too by being there and watching you grow in your journey. “Teach someone if you want to know how much you have learned. Mentor someone if you want to know how valuable you are to those around you.” Good Mentors are those that enjoy being of immense value to others and seeing good things happen to those they care about.

Being a mentee requires more than just showing up to meetings with a mentor. Mentoring relationships require a bit of work and significant input from the mentee. When the mentor and mentee are a good match and understand their roles, the mentorship will blossom into a valuable relationship.

We recommend training your mentees (and mentors) before the mentoring program begins to help mentoring relationships get off to a strong start. During training, participants should learn about their role and responsibilities within the mentoring partnership.

Below, are our top tips for mentees that will prepare them to maximize their time with their mentor; leading to a happy and helpful mentorship.

Here are the top 10 tips for being a good mentee.

  1. Remember Your Mentor is a Volunteer
    First off, it’s important to remember your mentor is a volunteer. They have more experience in the field, and they are taking time out of their schedule to help you develop and grow, so there must be healthy boundaries and respect in your relationship.

This means as a good mentee, you should be aware of and minimize time wasters that occur during your meetings. Also ensure you show gratitude for the time and advice, and never act rudely or attempt to downplay their knowledge.

Insala provides top-notch planning workshops, training, and software for mentoring programs and mentor matching. To learn more about Insala’s mentoring solutions request a demo .

A mentor and mentee relationship can be beneficial to both parties. Having a mentor can provide resources and guidance in future decisions, and having a mentee can allow you to practice leadership and communication. If you're a mentor to someone else, it can be helpful to know a few questions to ask your mentee during mentoring sessions to guide conversation and help find areas for you to help. In this article, we define what a mentor is and consider 9 questions that a mentor might ask their mentee during a mentoring session.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a leader who advises someone who is less experienced than they are, called a mentee. Mentors can offer advice about professional development, career paths and in general areas of improving one's life. Many mentors are experts in a particular field or industry, which can be particularly helpful for mentees who are interested in entering their industry in a similar career. A mentor can help their mentees through meetings where they give insight into their expertise and answer any questions their mentee might have.

Why might a mentor ask their mentee questions?

A mentor might ask their mentee questions for many different reason. One reason might be to learn more about a mentee's current expertise and skills. This can help a mentor determine which areas of expertise they might need to help their mentee in and guide the advice they offer. A mentee can also ask their mentee questions about their career goals and jobs they might be interested to identify ways that they can provide guidance in more specific ways, such as sending references to companies in a mentee's desired field or helping a mentee find employment opportunities.

9 questions for a mentor to ask their mentee

Here are 9 questions that a mentor might ask their mentee:

What does success look like to you?

A mentor might ask this question to learn about a mentee's values and priorities. This is because success can be defined in many different ways, so a mentee's answer can tell a mentor about what they consider valuable by identifying areas of their life they see as successful. Having this information can help a mentor focus on offering advice that relates to what their mentee cares about and wants to work toward.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question is very popular in interviews, but it can also be valuable for a mentor to ask their mentee. A mentee's answer to this question can inform a mentor about their goals, whether personal or professional. This can show a mentor what their mentee wants to achieve so they can design their support around helping them reach a specific goal that they might mention, such as having a specific job or living in a certain place.

What do you hope to gain from our mentoring sessions?

A mentor might ask this question at the beginning of a mentoring relationship to get an understanding of why their mentee might need a mentor. A mentee's answer can tell a mentor about a specific personal goal, a career path they want to pursue, a skill set they want to develop and more. Some mentees might not be completely sure about their answer, which can also help a mentor by informing them that a mentee might need support in finding areas where they can improve or learn more about.

What is an obstacle you're currently facing?

This question can tell a mentor about what their mentee considers challenging. This can be especially helpful in early mentoring sessions, as a mentor can then focus some of their efforts on overcoming a specific obstacle their mentee identifies. Knowing about the challenges a mentee experiences can also inform a mentor's advice by informing them about areas where they might be more sensitive in the support they give to ensure a mentee remains comfortable throughout a mentoring session.

What are some things that you can control?

A mentor can ask this question to get more information about a mentee's view of their own life and to inspire confidence. It can be common for people to find challenges in things that they cannot control, so identifying areas of their life that a mentee can control can show a mentor what they seem confident in. It might also open a dialogue for a mentor to help their mentee find ways to respond to situations that they can control in positive, constructive ways.

If you could learn any new professional skill, what would it be?

This question can offer a mentee the chance to be creative and inform their mentor about their interests. As most professions involve specific skills, a mentee's answer to this question can also show a mentor which career paths might be right for a mentee based on what they want to learn. This can help a mentor decide which advice they should give and might help them find recommendations for careers and job opportunities that they can pass on to their mentee.

Have you ever quit a job? If so, why?

This question can tell a mentor about their mentee's values and what they look for in a workplace. If a mentee identifies a specific challenge at one of their previous jobs that caused them to leave their position, a mentor might try to help them find employment opportunities that do not involve the challenge or have a solution in place for it. For example, if a mentee quit their previous job because the hours were too long, a mentor might search for a job in their field that offers flexible or shorter work hours.

Who do you talk to about challenges and successes at your job?

A mentor might ask this question to learn more about their mentee's support system and involvement with their community. This can inform the advice they give about turning to their peers or coworkers for support. For example, if a mentee identifies their family members as who they talk to about challenges and successes, a mentor might find ways to encourage sharing with their family members even more.

What is your dream job?

This question can tell a mentor about their mentee's goals and passions. Considering their dream job is a great way for a mentee to explore their interests and identify what they're most passionate about. This can help a mentor design their advice and support around finding opportunities for their mentee that align with their interests by offering guidance on how a mentee might pursue their dream job or a closely related career.

Maximize your mentor-student teacher relationship to learn different teaching styles and techniques.

I will never forget the amazing experience I had during my first placement as a student teacher. It was in an urban low-income school district, and the teacher I worked with was extremely inspirational. She eased me into the classroom and taught me things I still use today. She took the time to reflect on my teaching and provide great feedback. I really valued my time in her class.

How to find a good mentor

I wasn’t so lucky with my second placement. Although it was in a nice suburban school district, the teacher I was assigned to couldn’t have been any less of a mentor. I was in constant fear that I was doing something wrong because she always compared me to her previous student teacher. Plus, she only gave me negative feedback, which made me feel like such a failure. As a prospective teacher, all I wanted was an experience that benefited the both of us.

After two very different situations, I’ve learned a few tricks to help teachers and student teachers work as a team. Here’s what you should know.

Find Your Shared Rhythm for Teaching

One of the best things my first mentor did was to ease me into the teaching process. Prospective teachers vary in terms of previous teaching experience and education—some may feel more comfortable diving right in while others will easily feel like they’re being thrown to the sharks. It’s wise to have a conversation before your experience even starts to see what the best approach is for you. For me, gradually easing my way into the experience one subject at a time was what made me feel the most comfortable. My confidence started to build gradually each day, which eventually made me eager to take on more subjects.

Be Equally Involved in the Classroom

This is a shared experience, so mentors shouldn’t just show prospective teachers what it takes to plan and grade a lesson; they should also make them part of the overall process. With my first placement, I was included in everything my mentor did. From getting to school early and staying late to prepare lessons, to bus duty and parent-teacher meetings, I was right there by her side. The more I was exposed to, the more experience and knowledge I gained. I was able to learn how to effectively talk to parents, prep for lessons, and even find my way around the faculty room.

Make the Most of Feedback

Whether you’re both new to this arrangement or not, create an environment where you’re comfortable offering both positive and negative feedback (mentors need to know how they’re doing too). The more feedback you give, the more you’ll both learn about yourselves and what kind of teacher you are or can be. Whatever you do, don’t just offer feedback on things you didn’t like; that’s discouraging. Feedback should be constructive. Try the sandwich technique, where you layer a positive comment with a “what needs improvement” comment, followed by another positive comment. Maybe if my second mentor teacher had done that for me, I would have had a more pleasurable experience.

Treat Each Other as Colleagues

Even though one of you is much more experienced, you still need to treat each another like you would treat any other colleague. Your students need to see that you’re a united front so that they treat you both with respect. By developing a collegial relationship that’s based on respect, you’ll make your time with one another unforgettable—in a good way.

Every good teacher loves having his/her ‘go to’ books that they use to teach specific reading skills, like main idea. Teaching reading through mentor texts is one of the best ways to show students strong and concrete examples of the skills. Using mentor texts is definitely needed!

I have gathered some of my favorite main idea mentor texts. I think you’ll find these wonderful assets to your classroom collection! Let’s take a look and find a new main idea picture book for you to use!

How to find a good mentor

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Main Idea Mentor Texts: Fiction

How to find a good mentorThe Recess Queen: Students will make wonderful connections to this adorable story about a new girl who befriends the recess bully! With a very clear sequencing of events, students will be able to analyze the text to identify the main idea and many supporting details of the story! This story is also great for reviewing problem and solution!

How to find a good mentorSpoon: This mentor text has an absolutely wonderful message for readers of all ages! Spoon, the main character, doesn’t feel like he is good enough and begins to doubt how wonderful he is. He becomes envious of the other characters: fork, knife, and chopsticks. He thinks that their life is much better than his. The lesson that he learns is a perfect reminder that each of us holds something special inside and that we are all unique!

Students will have no trouble finding the main idea in this story. This is also a perfect text to help students understand the difference between Main Idea and theme! Definitely a must have for any classroom library!

How to find a good mentorA Bike Like Sergio’s: Another beautiful story, A Bike Like Sergio’s is a story of two young friends – one who’s family is financially able to afford special gifts and the other who is barely able to afford all of the groceries that they need for the week. When the main character, who is envious of his friend Sergio’s bike, finds money on the ground that someone drops, he dreams of using the money to buy himself a bike for his birthday. But what he actually does will touch you right on your heart!

This wonderful story is perfect for students to identify the main idea of a text and add many supporting details. Students will be able to make strong connections to the story and relate to many of the characters as well. A must have for every classroom!

Main Idea Mentor Texts: Nonfiction

How to find a good mentorHere to There and Me to You: Bridges come in many different forms and displays and all encompass a single goal: to bring people together! Never have I found a nonfiction book that gives quite the loving message as this one! While students will quickly find the main idea of this story to having something to be about bridges, they will also find that this wonderful texts has some underlying themes hidden as well!

How to find a good mentorBee Dance: This very purposeful story teaches us so much more about bees than we ever thought we could know! Bee Dance is a wonderful text that teaches students the meaning behind the special ways that bees communicate – by dancing! What are the dance moves for and how do bees interpret them? Finding the main idea of this text will be simple! This is a perfect text to use to introduce main idea and nonfiction together!

How to find a good mentorWho Has These Feet?: Who knew that feet were so special? Animal feet have adapted to the animal’s surroundings and in this beautifully illustrated book, students can see how and why each animal highlighted in the text has the feet that they do! The main idea of this text is very clear and is a great one to help identify many supporting details! This is my ‘go to’ book for intervention students as well!

I hope you found a new Main Idea Mentor Text (or two) for your classroom library! If you’re looking for a super f un and easy activity to help teach Main Idea, then you’ll want to try out Brown Bag Main Idea!