Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 1/2 class using Play Based Learning (PBL) and iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Power & Process of Mentoring

My #SYD17 journey continued this week with the announcements of our mentors, and the above book arriving by courier from the USA.  As I started to read, I hadn't even completed the first page when I was inspired to take notes - what better way than through a blog post!

A mentor is defined in this text as "a guide who helps us define and understand our own goals and pursue them successfully."  I'm excited that I've been matched with a mentor I had the pleasure of working with in the past, and I can't wait to continue on this journey with her.

I've never been a mentor before, however I believe that collaboration and communication would be essential to a mentor/mentee relationship.  Further reading unpacks the following elements as crucial:

Many of the elements of success occur frequently in my day to day teaching and school relationships.  Rather than unpacking each in more detail in this blog post, this is what I'm most wondering or feel is important when working with my mentor:
Partnership - valuing the uniqueness of each of us in the partnership and drawing on the experiences, and individuality of my mentor while sharing my own experiences with her.
Relationship - I'm lucky in that I already have an existing relationship with my mentor so I feel trust will develop more easily because of this.  I look forward to, and welcome honest, reflective and authentic conversations with Fiona.
Learning - I have a belief that I will never stop learning and I certain hope to grow through this experience.  As always, I will be critically reflective, unafraid to try things and learn from any mistakes I make along the journey.
Collaboration - One of the things I'm looking forward to most is the experiences we are both bringing to the discussions that will take place - I feel comfortable sharing with Fiona with an openness that will lead to greater collaboration as well as willing to give and take as required to enable the best possible outcomes.
Reciprocity - Both of use bring different perspectives to this relationship and I look forward to exploring these over our mentoring time.  I'm excited and inspired to have Fiona as a mentor and I hope she enjoys the process as much as I hope to.
Development - This is perhaps my biggest wondering - what will I be able to achieve as a result of our partnership and what knowledge, skills and abilities will I develop over the next 11 months?  While its definitely a wondering, I'm excited about the possibilities and cannot wait to continue the journey.

The Mentee's Guide by Lois J. Zachary with Lory A. Fischler