TRUST BUILDING IN THE MENTORING RELATIONSHIP
Adapted from Judith Warren Little

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Mentoring requires a safe, confidential environment for professional growth to occur. Few beginning teachers will risk looking foolish in front of a mentor or any other experienced teacher UNTIL a safe, trusting context for that risk-taking is established. Here are the critical elements of such a trusting relationship.


INTERACTION
PAIRS work to build their skills
MENTORS create a low-risk setting & use open questions to lead inquiry

PREDICTABILITY
PAIRS build trust thru consistent use of predictable criteria & methods
MENTORS are as clear about criteria & methods as is the teacher on teaching methods & aims

RECIPROCITY
PAIRS defer to one another's skill & knowledge, & preserve each other's dignity
MENTORS are willing to grow, honor the experience of the teacher, & work as hard as a coach as the teacher is working to teach

COMMON VOCABULARY
PAIRS deliberately use shared ideas & language in communications
MENTORS lead in using terms & ideas that create shared meaning

FOCUS
PAIRS select 1-2 questions or problems to explore & to build skill around
MENTORS lead in keeping focused & purposeful, they link data & topic

HARD EVIDENCE
PAIRS select/invent observation tools that fit the purpose & use the data to explore topics & generate conclusions
MENTORS value adequate data, & work hard to be thorough when collecting it


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Barry Sweeny, Resources for Staff & Organization Development

26 W 413 Grand Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 668-2605, E-mail [email protected]