MentorInk Newsletter returns!
We decided to revive, MentorInk Newsletter, a publication that ran for almost 20 years. We're giving it a 21st Century twist. Each insightful and interesting topic is guaranteed to teach you something useful about mentoring and coaching you didn't know or hadn't considered. You're invited to revisit this page from time to time. Let us know if there's a topic you'd like to see. Enjoy!
Mentorability: What is it?
Most likely you have never heard the word "mentorability". However, it does exist.
English, being an incredibly-inventive language, has the term in its lexicon.
It means "the willingness or openness of a person to be mentored by another". Actually, it does not refer to ability but rather to a psychological state in which a person is open to working with another in this relationship. Clearly, there are others who are closed to the relationship or who choose to be prickly when being helped such that the mentor is not able to assist.
Know anyone who is not a candidate for mentoring based on their attitude or disposition? Now you know what to call them!
World's first mentoring program for youth--where & when?
Imagine as a young person, spending three hours a week for 13 weeks with a mentor who arranges for you to play with a famous sports team such as the Vancouver Canucks! Or spend one-on-one time with a world famous architect or learn how to fly an ultralight all while absorbing the value of studying, giving back to the community, working collaboratively with others and learning about possible dream careers?
This describes the heart of Canada's (and the world's) first mentoring program. It started modestly in one school in Vancouver in 1978 and lasted 8 years, becoming so popular it wasn't possible to cope with the demand from other schools wanting lessons on how to make it work.
Who designed this success? Mrs. Sheila Herman, a teacher of the gifted at Queen Elizabeth Elementary in the Vancouver School Board and Dr. William Gray of the Faculty of Education at UBC were the brains behind the program.
At one point, not one but eight schools were involved, elementary through high school levels. Kids who heard about the program and talked to participants would send in letters begging to be included. Parents would write letters about the shining experience it was for their child.
Happily, the idea of indepth, multi-facet mentoring spread -- all this from the original question: How to meet the challenge of keeping bright, talented and gifted children super-engaged in learning?
It took imaginative, hard-working pioneers to do the groundwork and take a "can-we-do-it?" idea to higher and higher levels. ~~
Take the 5-question test
Possibly you're merely thinking about a program. Or you may have had a program at some point in the past and are considering a restart or refresh. Or you're just curious...
No matter what your status is, read the questions below and give them serious consideration. We offer these five on the basis of years of our extensive work in the field.
1. Do you view your program as a pipeline? Yes No (If yes, what are you connecting and why?)
2. Is your program formal? Yes No (If yes, is your Coordinator trained for all the tasks? If no, can you state all the reasons you've chosen to take the informal track?)
3. What's the business case for having your mentoring program?
4. Do you collaboratively plan the program? Yes No (If yes, who is involved? If no, why not?)
5. Do you or have you evaluated the results of your program each cycle? Yes No (If yes, do you use focus groups? statistical analysis? or something else such as a few questions on a form? If you haven't evaluated the results, why not?)