OMAET Book Notes – Monitoring by Gordon Shea – Part 2: Is Mentoring for You?


The following are notes that I wrote as part of a class assignment for a class in Mentoring. Enjoy.

Sharing Resources (p21)

Work: I have the benefit of having been a classroom teacher before becoming the lab teacher, I had the benefit of working with technology before becoming a teacher. In the latter I wasn’t constrained to do things “the way they’ve always been done” because I didn’t know the ways they’d been done. Thus, using technology in ways not foreseen even by the technology designers made perfect sense to me. In the former I have the experience to empathize with the skeptism of my contemporaries who see these things as expensive toys that are more work than their worth.

Things I like to do: Writing, watching TV, observing, losing myself in a good story, trying to connect with the thoughts and feelings of another without losing myself.

Education/Training: diverse, writing, drawing, mechanical and artistic, in my first incarnation I saw myself as an artist (doodler and songwriter) who happened to fall into technological forms of expression. As a kid I loved to draw, watch the astronauts on TV, and build cardboard rocketships for my G.I. Joe with my best friend in his backyard. In Junior high, my friend’s family had an 8mm movie camera and we set about to film the great american western, 1970’s style. Then just as teenage-angst and confusion set in I picked up the guitar and started writing songs about god, love and religion like I knew what I was writing about. In less than ten-years I’d penned over sixty songs, most of which I’ve fortunately forgotten, a few still lingering on aging cassette tapes somewhere. Besides those “darker” physical concerns that populate a young man’s mind, my writing and searching was also propelled by the pressures of being a “Charismatic Christian” religious studies major at Jesuit Loyola Marymount University, then continuing my studies as a slightly more worldly biblical studies major at Fundamentalist Biola University. Toward the end of my time at Biola I’d fallen into my communcations technician job at Pacific Bell (then called Pacific Telephone and Telegraph) which started a whole other line where I developed my troubleshooting skills and eventually become a hardware geek tearing out computer components like a pit-crew mechanic. One marriage and divorce later, I found myself working on a second BA at CSU Fullerton, first in Anthropology then later in Journalism. Toward the end of my degree program I picked up the camera again and began to experiment with doing reports on video tape instead of as a talking head reading words. I also discovered that I like helping my younger collegues work through their assignments and started to look into the possibility of teaching. When I started working on my teaching credential at Chapman University I really started using all of my experiences with writing, music, video, computers to bring more to my classroom experiences than talkings heads and papers.

Hobbies: Special skills: Passions: Other Assets: I think I pretty much covered these ideas in the above text.


Three Situations:

1. Writing for the Daily Titan at CSUF, there was one younger reporter that I helped, mostly just dealing with the raging egos of our 20-year-old editors.

2. Junior and Senior years at Mission Viejo High School and Freshman year at LMU, I worked with the archdioses of Orange and LA on weekend retreat programs at Wrightwood and later on day-retreat programs.

3. Teaching at Furgeson Elementary, having worked outside of education in technology I brought a different point of view to my students. The standard was what is it that succeeds outside of Hawaiian Gardens?

Positive Attitude: Listening, communicating expectations and leaving room for the human experience of learning through “trial and error” (learning what works by risking what doesn’t work).

Helping Others: Expressing the belief that my job as a teacher is to move them forward toward success, not about throwing them into little “sorting” grade buckets.

Comfort at Listening/Neutral context: Because of my background in music and performing and journalism, my first role as a communicator is to listen. To me, it means something to me if someone feels comfortable enough with me to share their concerns and problems. I have had success with more than a few “problem” parents/grandparents because I first set about to listen to them before telling them anything.


Discussion/thoughtful/what works/examples: I think that I’m more comfortable with the verbal/reflective modes of mentoring than the ones that require staging and drama. I have been known to use music and visual images but that’s more an expression of myself and my need to communicate than what I would call teaching or mentoring. .

Type of mentee: Number one, someone open to learn. Of course, I’m not sure what the point would be of having a mentee resistent to learning, or one who thinks that they’ve already “arrived,” though I can imagine that that does happen. One with the eagerness to communicate would be good.

Type of mentor: Coach, Spotter, leading from the side of the stage. I see my own time “on stage” as being something very different from being a mentor or teacher (with its own value and reward).

IKA’S CASE (p.27)

Risks: Would your family understand your interest in helping this person out. How bad would things get for you if you recommend Ika and it doesn’t work out.

What’s the Plan? What does he need to succeed? What support can you connect him with (including, but besides yourself) to help him with the areas he’s not fully up-to-speed on? Is he open to being “sponsored” and able to accept help?

Serious: How long term is this and how much time in the here and now? Isn’t an investment of time in Ika an investment in the future of the company? How do you measure that?

Change: How much time would this require? You might consider including or inviting Ika to participate in working with the softball team if you feel like he might need time away from his old environment. If the goal is to support him and your activities are “real” in your life than sharing these parts of your life shouldn’t be overly invasive.

Ika African-American: Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any problem with this senario, though the questions might come about whether he’s “worth the effort” or his “trustworthiness.”

Your African American: Sadly, this might be a problem depending on Ika’s upbringing and your family.



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