Magazine article Techniques

Mentoring-It's Payback Time

Magazine article Techniques

Mentoring-It's Payback Time

Article excerpt

Mentoring is a word we hear a lot these days, and for good reasons. As many types of employment responsibilities become more complicated, the role of a mentor is becoming increasingly important.

Most of us probably have had more than one mentor in our careers. Take a few minutes to contemplate the various ways they helped you learn such things as the secrets to succeeding in a new job or the best approaches to a difficult situation. Thinking back, how conscientious were you about telling your mentors that you appreciated them?

Maybe this would be a good time for a note of thanks or a phone call to a few special individuals to let them know how important they were to you. Unfortunately, we may not be able to personally thank all of our mentors.

There is, however, an excellent way to pay back the valuable contribution they made to your career-by serving as a mentor to someone else. I know that many of you already have acted in this capacity for your colleagues, but there are always new professionals who could benefit from your guidance.

There are two particular avenues for mentoring I would like you to consider. As I have traveled around the country during my AVA presidency, I consistently hear concerns about the future vocational-technical teaching force. Many of our teachers are Baby Boomers who are planning for retirement. We have lost many of our teacher education programs, and those that remain often have low enrollments. A shortage of teachers for some vocational-technical fields already is reaching the crisis stage in many parts of the nation. …

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