Here is advice on HOW TO DEVELOP

The Mentor Program's Purposes



Return to the Model Program Introduction Page


There are several pages available here to help you with developing your induction program purposes:

 


THE SEQUENCE OF MENTOR PROGRAM DECISIONS

© Barry Sweeny, 1993

Designing a quality mentoring program that will be effective in accomplishing its purpose requires making all decisions with the desired results (purposes) in mind. Quality results can not be achieved without a quality process. That is, the MEANS you use to achieve your purposes, have to be consistent wth those ENDS. If the means and the ends are not consistent, the needs you seek will not be achieved. Another way of saying this is "The medium IS the message"(Marshall McLuhan). That is, the way the message is delivered speaks louder than does the message itself!

For example, consider a district that wants mentors to be "models of best practices" and so, creates a mentor selection process and criteria which are "exclusive", seeking mentors who are only the very best teachers. The difficulty with this approach is that it suggests that the mentors "know it all" and that others are "not good enough". Obviously, while well motivated, such an exclusive method of mentor selection is likely to cause some "ruffeled feathers" and hurt feelings. The exclusive selection approach is inconsistent with a desired purpose of increased collaboration, colleagueship, and building up a consensus about shared work. In fact, instead of increasing collaboration, the exclusive selection process and criteria might actually decrease collaborative efforts.

How can an induction program committee avoid the potential pitfalls along the path of programs development? "Start with the end in mind" and keep it in mind throughout the entire development process. That will be easier to do if you use the following listing to help you make decisions. In my experience, this is the best sequence, the best way to ensure that program decisions will create the means that are appropriate to the desired ends, and the best way to ensure your program is effective in attaining the desired results.




1. THE PURPOSES FOR THE MENTORING PROGRAM

That is, "What do you want to accomplish?"

2. MENTOR'S ROLE (FUNCTIONS) & TASKS (CONCRETE)

That is, "What will mentors have to DO to accomplish the program's purposes?"

3. EXPECTATIONS FOR MENTORS & PROTEGES

That is, "How will you define the mentor's responsibilities to fulfill that role?"

4. SELECTION OF MENTORS

That is, "How can you select mentors which have the characteristics you need to accomplish your purpose?"

5. MATCHING OF MENTORS AND PROTEGES

That is, "How can you create the most effective mentor-protege teams?"

6. TRAINING OF MENTORS & PROTEGES

That is, "Which of the responsibilities will the mentors you select already know and be able to do?

and, "What will mentors need to learn because teaching children won't have prepared them to work with adults?"

7. ON-GOING SUPPORT FOR MENTORING

That is, "What will mentors need to learn that can not be learned and developed through a workshop only?"

8. THE INCENTIVES & RECOGNITION FOR MENTORING

That is, "What will you need to do to attract and retain the best teachers as mentors?"

and, "What should you do (because it's the right thing) to recognize the major effort required to mentor?"

9. THE CONTEXT FOR MENTORING

That is, "What about the culture of the school will be supportive of mentoring and must be tapped?"

and, "What in the school's culture may be opposed to the norms that mentoring pairs need to create to be successful?"

and, "What should the program do to help the mentors and protege's survive as a counter-culture?"


None of these are easy questions to answer. However, don't panic! This MNTIP web site will actually provide you with ALL these answers! We've onlu just begun.


You may print out this page as long as...

You do not sell the information.
You use the page as it prints out from the web site, retaining the following citation about the author and the header on each page.
Barry W. Sweeny, 26 W 413 Grand Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187, 630-668-2605, email at
Web site at http://www.teachermentors.com