With the recent launch of our School Enterprise Challenge Mentoring Programme, we’ve been thinking a lot about mentoring and how to get the best out of a mentoring experience. So we decided to do make it the focus of this week’s blog!
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is guiding, advising and encouraging people so that they can develop their skills and improve their performance. Mentors help you to make decisions, but they never make decisions for you!
What are the benefits?
Mentoring is a really good way of helping you to progress and find the right direction in what you are doing. A mentor can also be there to encourage you with solving problems and they can help you to become more confident.Here are two different examples of mentoring:
A young teacher starts a job in a big school and a teacher who has been there for a long time is their mentor. This does not mean that they will stay with the new teacher every day, but the mentor might check on how the new teacher is progressing once every week or once every month by asking them if they are having any problems and if they have any questions.
A football player moves from Brazil to England to play for a football club, but he does not speak English and he has never been outside of Brazil. There is already another Brazilian player in the team, so this player will be the new player’s mentor for the first few weeks to help them to adapt to the English lifestyle and to learn the language. This means that as time goes on, the new Brazilian player will become more confident and settled in the new environment.
How to get the most out of your School Enterprise Challenge mentors
Identify what you need support with
Your mentor will email you once a month, so if you are having problems with something it is important that you recognise what that is and inform your mentor.
This will help you to be more organised and productive. Make sure your goals are SMART:
Specific – target a specific area for improvement
Assignable – specify who will do it
Realistic – can you do it? Your goal shouldn’t be impossible!
Time bound – set time to complete them. Are they long-term or short-term?
Your mentor is there to guide you, so you should ask them questions. But make sure that your questions are specific and relevant. The more specific your question is, the more helpful your answer is likely to be.
The best way to develop your skills is to listen to all the guidance that you are given. You will make the final decisions, but all of these decisions will be easier if you listen to advice!
The mentoring programme for the School Enterprise Challenge 2013 is now open for applications and the deadline is Monday 28th October. So if you think mentoring is as important and valuable as we do, make sure you fill out an application form! It’s really easy, just click here and follow the instructions to apply.
Finally, if you can think of an example of when you have had a good mentor, write a comment below – we would love to hear about it!
School Enterprise Challenge blogger,