Mentoring is...

The acrostic below represents our thinking about the fundamental aspects essential to any mentoring relationship.

Mentoring is....

Mutual • Mentoring relationships that flourish are reciprocal – all parties learn and grow

Evolving • Mentors exhibit flexibility of stance and role based on the needs of the person they are supporting

Non-evaluative • Mentoring supports are not connected to evaluation or judgement of a colleague’s performance

Trusting • Relational trust is built through effective listening and fostered in an environment characterized by emotional safety and mutual respect

Open • Through powerful learning designs (e.g., observation and debriefing) practice is deprivatized and the intentional sharing of knowledge and practice occurs

Real • Mentoring activities are personalized, based on each person’s authentic learning goals and connected to their “real world”

Supported • Conditions to foster effective mentoring relationships are supported at both the school and board level (e.g., joint release days, foundational learning for mentors)

Honours strengths • A deliberate seeking out of the strengths and attributes that each person brings to the mentoring relationship sets the context for meaningful sharing to occur

Invitational • All parties have voluntarily chosen to engage in mentorship

Personalized • Each person may choose to engage in multiple models of mentorship as they build a web of mentoring supports

Illustrative Example of a Mentoring Web

Reciprocal learning is a foundational component of all mentoring relationships. One of the most powerful outcomes of mentorship is it serves as a means for job embedded deprivatization of practice and fosters reflection, learning and growth of mentors themselves.

In summary, mentorship is an act of learning.