Monday, April 14, 2014

Lumiere Education Academy; how to Mentor Students

SO: YOU ARE trained, educated, and good at your job. You are well seasoned at your work, and have knowledge, wisdom and the experience of years at your work. What are you going to do with all that hard-earned knowledge?
Why not pass it on?
Whether a Charity Worker, Builder, Orthodontist, Optician, Politician, Mother, Father, Priest, Health Professional, or one of the many vocations that abound in this wonderful world of ours, there is a way of passing our knowledge on in order to better our world; to mentor or guide someone else.
Mentoring, guiding, or being a preceptor means passing your knowledge on to someone else for their enrichment, and to better the world.
This can be done in person, or online.
Lumiere Education Academy has much experience in mentoring and passing on knowledge. Many from all walks of life have selflessly made their expert knowledge available gratis. 
We are now beginning a series of LEA posts in which we will have the privilege of sharing information which may help you to guide another to excellence and service in this wonderful world of ours.

By mentoring, you help someone else recognise his or her own gifts. Rene Shimada Siegel tells us that her Elementary School Librarian was her very first mentor. Until then, Rene had no idea that she was special in any way. Mrs Carruth told Rene she was a good writer. She planted the seed in Rene's third grade mind. It wasn't until College, when Rene changed her Major from Engineering to Public Relations, that Rene discovered Mrs Carruth was right; she could write. 
'A great mentor is a guide to help navigate the world of business, or life in general' (Rene Shimada Siegel)1

By mentoring, the Mentor helps to transfer the Development of Skills to the Mentee. 
The Mentor helps the Mentee to develop his or her strengths. By doing so, the Mentor develops and increases his or her own strengths and experience. A win-win situation!
The Mentor assists the Mentee to clarify misunderstandings and lack of essential knowledge. This, in turn, can prevent so many mistakes in the workplace!
The Mentor helps the Mentee develop workable solutions to difficulties in the workplace in a secure, confidential and mutually respectful environment.
The Mentor motivates, advises and supports the Mentee until the Mentee is fully fledged in confidence, ability and personal excellence in praxis. Then the Mentor knows the right time to let go, and leave the Mentee free to move on to new fields.
All of this takes maturity, consideration and compassion on the part of the Mentor.
The amazing thing about being a Mentor or Preceptor is that, by carrying out the office of Mentor, maturity, consideration and compassion are developed in the Mentor.
The Teacher thus has his or her own gifts developed by helping another.

A practical consideration is to ensure that you have Garda or Police clearance to work with Mentees. It is also practical for the Mentor to ensure that assisting a Mentee takes place in a controlled and safe environment, e.g. if emails are sent to the Mentee, a copy email is sent to the Parent/Guardian of same. In the same manner, any correspondence sent to the Mentor by the Mentee is done through the email facility of the Parent/Guardian. Of course such an arrangement must be agreeable to, and agreed to, on the parts of Mentor/ Parent or Guardian, and Mentee. This prevents any misunderstandings from arising. It also keeps a great diary for the Mentor to monitor the progress of the Mentee, and to then assess when the Mentee has developed enough to go out from the mentoring relationship, and manage on his or her own. If the Mentor meets with the Mentee for guidance, it is practical to organise the guidance to take place under supervision e.g. at a venue organised with the Parent/Guardian, with the Parent/Guardian in attendance.

Online mentoring can be done by making your hard-earned knowledge and experience available gratis (free) through an online Blog. Blogs are great for getting the knowledge out there. Consider making your blog posts copyright free, also the media (such as photographs, illustrations you make and youtube/powerpoint presentations you make) copyright free. This makes it very easy for people online to download, use in projects and research as they search for greater excellence in their personal knowledge lives.

There is nothing better in the world than mentoring. Believe me, I know. In South Africa, there is a saying; 'See one, do one, teach one.' In essence, this means - do not keep essential knowledge to yourself. Learn how to do something; Practise and gain good experience and competence in how to do something; and then pass the knowledge on to someone else. In my early twenties, I was asked to mentor a group. I did so. Twenty years later, I walked into a Bush Clinic very very far out. I walked into an area where very ill children were being cared for. As I entered the area, I was struck by the air of peace, the spotless cleanliness and mutual respect and confidence shown by the staff. I was welcomed, and escorted to an area where care was being given. As the person - beautifully dressed and groomed so far out in the Bush - looked up, her face transfused with joy. She jumped up, hugged me and thanked me for mentoring her gratis all those years ago. 'I still do everything exactly as you taught us,' she said. 'Look around you. Is it ok?'
Struggling with the hot wetness at the back of my eyes, I tried to appear nonchalant as I agreed that everything was more than ok.
As I left, my previous Mentee said to me confidentially, 'I have taught people all these years all the things you taught us. Exactly as you taught us!'
As I left, I pondered. I had been in my early twenties, trying to find my way. I had tried to explain the ideals of how to care and how to behave. I had no way of knowing the impact of what I was doing.
That day in that far out area in the Bush, as the cicadas twittered in the South African evening and the sunset sank gold and red behind the thorn trees in the bush, I knew that - as Mentor - not only do we pass on knowledge, but that a Greater Hand continues the teaching once we are long gone from the Mentee's presence.

SO WHY NOT . . . 
SO WHY NOT ... become a Mentor? In the spirit of Lumiere, pass your knowledge on!

You may be a Dentist. A Farm Worker. A Grower of Produce. A Brain Surgeon. An Airline Pilot. A Mother. A Father. A Student. A Brick Layer. Whoever you are, whatever you do, perhaps Divine Providence has led you to read these words so that you may help another. The Spirit of Lumiere believes that one candle can light another; which can be used to light a further candle; and so on. Our small candle can light a blaze around the girdle of the World today on the Internet and in the furthest outreach of our world. Why not take up the challenge?

Mawadda has been requesting assistance from those with knowledge for years. Why not consider helping?
Mawadda International Aid


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