Building Mentoring Webs

My actual float home

For 12 years, I lived on a houseboat (aka a floating home). Many amazing experiences with nature including the fact that spiders were everywhere.

Each morning before kayaking I spent several minutes attending to cobwebs with a broom. The webs with only one or two strands were very easy to destroy, whereas the webs with many strands were much stronger, more resilient and secure.

Illustrative Example of a Mentoring Web

When we think about building a mentoring web that’s the idea – the more strands in the web, the stronger it is. Beyond 1 to 1 “dating game” mentor matching, mentoring webs are constructed by the learner. Each is unique, based on their authentic learning needs.

In their longitudinal research of the New Teacher Induction Program, Christine Frank & Associates found that high growth new teachers accessed 5 to 7 different mentorship supports. So again, the idea of a constructing learning via a menu of personalized growth opportunities with the support of multiple mentors emerges as a powerful learning design.

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