Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The final chapter of Sir Ken Robinson's The Element is about mentors.
Finding our element often requires the aid and guidance of others.  Sometimes this comes from someone who sees something in us that we don't see in ourselves.

The role of mentors:
  • recognizing the spark of interest or delight - they can help an individual drill down to the specific components of the discipline that match that individual's capacity and passion.
  • encouraging - mentors help us believe we can achieve something that seemed improbable of impossible to us before we met them.  They don't allow us to succumb to self-doubt for too long, or the notion that our dreams are too large for us.  They stand by to remind us of the skills we already possess and what we can achieve if we continue to work hard.
  • facilitating - offering us advice and techniques, paving the way for us and allowing us to falter a bit while standing by to help us recover and learn from our mistakes.
  • stretching - effective mentors push us past what we see as our limits.  They don't allow us to succumb to self-doubt and also prevent us from doing less with our lives than we can.
Mentors take a unique and personal place in our lives.  Mentors open doors for us and get involved directly in our journeys.  They show us the next steps and encourage us to take them.

Reflection:  Have we been mentored by others?  Are we in turn acting as mentors to encourage our colleagues and students?

Photo Credit:  Helping Hand by Popofatticus Attribution 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. This is a thought that I will share with my mentors for my high school mentorship program.