OMAET Book Notes – Monitoring by Gordon Shea – Part 1: Mentoring as an Art

mentoring-sheaThe following notes that I wrote as part of a class assignment for a class in Mentoring. Enjoy.

Have You Been Mentored? (p4)

1. “Aha” experience: Biblestudy leader, Greg, when I was 15-years-old, that moment affected the next 15-years of my life. His role, however, was as a “fleeting catalyst” in that it was more the moment that changed the course of history for me than the person whom I shared it with.

2. Meaningful Quote: None that I can think of. Only one that comes to mind is not in a mentoring moment but a hurtful crack by a “friend” who said five or six years ago, when discussing me finding a mate, “well, by this time all the good ones are taken.” That has caused me to endeavor to prove this person wrong.

3. Uncovered unrealized talent: Angel DeNofa, a musician and artist who played music with me after church on Sundays when I was at Loyola Marymount (it was a foresquare church). She helped empower me to go from playing my guitar in a backroom to taking it out on the stage, eventually playing in front of audiences of several hundred.

From Legend to Challenge (p6)

* Knowledge of how societal systems work: Mom – I watched how she managed her relationship with dad; later it was anyone who was in-charge (pros and cons based on their “success”).

* Values: Mom and dad, biblical romanticism

* Technical competence: self-taught, given some space to draw and dream by mom & dad as a kid

* Character growth mom & dad, religious values:

* Knowledge of how to behave: Mom, female friends

* Understanding of the world: Parents, college teachers

* Understanding of how to get things done: still trying to figure that one out

* Moral development: see “character growth” & “values”

* Mental & physical health: mental?? Not sure, probably teachers and given room by folks to doodle and dream; physical – product of So Cal environment, everyone had to try to look good

* Understanding other peoples POV: life . . . moving from home culture to school culture, asking religious questions, moving from catholic to pentecostal to academic . . . awareness of other POVs more than “understanding.

A Variety of Mentoring Relationships (p9)

1. Highly Structured/Short Term: I was assigned a “mentor” teacher during my first year at my previous school – this teacher, however, never met with me (or the other new teacher), for the purposes of mentoring and seemed rather “put out” that he had to work with the two new teachers.

2. Highly Structured/Long Term: None

3. Informal/Short Term: My first teaching job, I paired myself to the other “veteran” 6th grade teacher – I consider this informal because it wasn’t an assignment for her, but a survival skill from me, a proved to be mutually beneficial for both of us.

4. Informal/Long Term: My relationship with the director of technology at my previous district, it started when he came out to help our school begin our Magnet program. He was a real friend when I was the only one who understood the technical difficulties that I faced getting that school ramped up. He was a good example of how to get things done and how difficult it is to get things done with all of the political tithes that must be “paid off.” It was a good thing to have a friend in a “high place,” but also a lesson on little can be done under some circumstances.

Sharing Life Experience (p11)

1. unusual learning experience: During the late 70’s/early 80’s I did (performed) some music, so much of what I saw was “behind the scenes” but I don’t remember anyone taking me under their wing. Had someone done that it might have led to a longer “career.” I usually made friends with whomever was in-charge, but didn’t necessarily attach myself to someone’s guidance. But whether it was performing or later working a few music venues as a journalism major, I enjoyed that “other” perspective.

2. Unusual mentoring experience: I’m trying to remember some time when someone might have taken me aside for that important lesson, but I really can’t think of one. [Sigh]

3. Unusual experience provided by self: I can’t think of any one particular experience, but I can say that much of my thoughts about teaching is to provide that “other side of the coin” encounter for my students. When I talk broadcasting journalism to fifth and sixth graders, when I helped second graders create commercials, when I helped first graders become comfortable on camera, it was all about taking parts of their lives that they were familiar with but wasn’t normally part of their “school life” and bringing them to the task at hand.

Identifying Our Life Helpers (p13)

1. Direction Shift: I’ve had plenty of “directional shifts,” I should be able to think of someone who played a role. The biblestudy guy, Greg, was certainly a catalyst for changing directions in my life.

2. Growth, depth: When I think about this one, I think about those who would have been good examples of those values. There was probably at least one professor at each university along the way who inspired me to move myself further along, mostly by example than by the actual relationship

3. Just at the Right time help: My best friend, Creagan, has often been there to see that my little boat doesn’t get swamped by the big bad waves that I challenge myself with.

4. Spontaneous? Yeah, I’m sure that Creagan stepped in a number of times before I even knew what was happening. Friends can be good that way.

What Mentors Do (p14)

Mentors . . .                                           TO ME    FOR THEM

* Set high performance expectations     Y               Y

* Offer Challenging ideas                      Y               Y

* Help build self-confidence                   Y               Y

* Encourage professional behavior         Y               Y

* Offer friendship

* Confront neg. behaviors & attitudes

* Listen to personal problems

* Teach by example

* Provide growth experiences

* Offer quotable quotes

* Explain how the org. works

* help far beyond their duties

* Stand by their mentees in critical situations

* Offer wise counsel

* Encourage winning behavior

* Trigger self-awareness

* Inspire to excellence

* Share critical knowledge

* Offer encouragement

* Assist with careers

Reaching Out to Another Person (p16)

* One time when you reached out: I had a student whose mother was battling cancer, I remember taking great care with her journal writing, tryng to make sure that she was comfortable expressing her concerns and worries. I don’t know how much it helped, her mom eventually went into remission, but I hope that it helped keep her “boat afloat” during a difficult time.

* One story you read: None come to mind.

* Mentoring experience, unusual: I think that this one lies at the center of understanding my own “mentee” experience. While there was no one teacher, or any one church with whom I bonded over the years, I spent a very long time buried in the pages of the Bible looking for meaning. The person that I was then would perhaps have claimed then that my mentors were the Old Testament writers, Jesus, Paul and other Apostles (particularly John, I rather like reading his writings). I guess that makes it a bit hard on flesh-and-blood mentors when I constantly comparing them with the Biblical texts but that was the mode of the time.



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