Across my desktop today this article ….
“The newest generations of teachers, like their students, have always connected digitally. As tech-savvy learners and communicators, they look online for inspiration and support. In the not-so-distant future, educators will seek and find personal and professional support through online portals where mentors will offer time, energy, and advice to their less seasoned colleagues.
These online mentors, functioning as colleagues and friends, will help weave another web of relationships to keep new teachers in the profession.”
Now this is food for thought! I believe that there will be a surge of online mentors joining the ranks in 2009/2010 as we begin to support more and more of the mainstream adopters into e-learning land. The art of mentoring is going to reach new heights, and I’m so glad that I’m already in that field of fascination.
Another great little quote, see below, made me think about my own mentoring methods. I like the idea of sharing stories of experience as a way of guiding and I often use my motto to demonstrate how I mentor online: ‘lead, follow and get out of the way’. It is really important to take the lead initially especially if your group is new to e-learning but collaborate with them as much as possible to check on what works for them. The middle part is perhaps the most important for the individuals, follow what they are doing and give them feedback and comments for improvement; share your knowledge and your networking with them in as many different ways as you can. Finally the end bit – look for the champions among them and give them the reigns – then politely and professionally, get out of their way.
“This virtual environment allows teachers to explore their fears and learn from mistakes without being judged by the teachers they work with every day at their school. Statistics show that new teachers are at risk for leaving the profession. These online exchanges can give guidance to such teachers, keeping them in the field. They can also rejuvenate experienced teachers who are looking for some motivation. “