My first reaction to today’s goal at the 30 Goals Challenge was; ” there are SO many aspects and ways to look at learning, where do I begin”?
Tweeting with Lisa Dabbs today gave me the “handle” I needed – mentoring! She has a lovely post on it. I’d like to highlight a different aspect which is what the MENTOR learns from mentoring.
I had the experience of mentoring a brand new teacher, straight out of college, who at the same time also became my colleague, teaching the same pupils I do (we teach in the format of a learning center. I teach full time and she teaches part time in addition to my hours).
I’ve been teaching for 25 years yet I found I was learning a great deal from the experience. First of all, because she repeatedly asked “WHY?”. I had set into motion all kinds of ways of doing things, some of which I had been doing so long that I no longer remembered why I had decided to do them in this particular way. Suddenly I had to reexamine everything! Sometimes it was tiring, but it was always useful. Some strategies or practices I realized that I felt good about them because now I remembered why they were planned just so. Others turned out to be “dusty” and were tweaked or even replaced.
Of course, as a talented young teacher, she came with suggestions of her own which have enriched my teaching!
But the thing I thank her most for is helping me to continue THINKING about what I am doing and why!