Mentoring Philosophy Statement
My mentoring philosophy sits at the nexus of four tenets: 1) open mindedness; 2) open communication; 3) a give – give relationship; and 4) a work-life balance. I recognize that there are a multitude of ways in which people learn and benefit from mentoring and I look forward to discussing this with my mentees.
I strive to create an inclusive and trusting classroom, whether I am mentoring one-on-one or with a group. I have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination based on gender, sex, race, religion, etc. Everyone walking into my classroom wants to be there or they wouldn’t show up. Everyone has their own histories and experiences, their own “baggage”, their own fears, hopes, and dreams. I will strive to encourage my mentees to learn from those around them and to take advantage of the plethora of perspectives and ideas available to them.
I recognize that my mentees may find different methods of communication (in-person, telephone, email) preferable to their personality. I strive to make myself accessible through all of these channels and make it my goal to respond to communications within 5 hours during working hours and within 24 hours on the weekends. Part of openly communicating is ensuring that mentees are comfortable contacting me when an issue arises, rather than waiting until a “now or never” time. To this end, open mindedness goes hand-in-hand with open communication. I strive to create an inclusive and trusting environment so that my mentees know they can contact me with any concerns or successes. The earlier mentees inform me of potential challenges or barriers to success, the more time I have as a mentor to help them work through it and devise a plan to move forward.
Give - Give relationship
I am a firm believer that those who work hard will reap the benefits. As such, I expect mentees to put as much time into our relationship as I do as a mentor. I strive to create a learning environment that challenges mentees to think critically about the topics we are discussing and to challenge what they think they know and to draw on my tenets of open mindedness and open communication to further develop their interests and goals. In the spirit of the give – give mentality, I also do not appreciate, enjoy, or assign busy work. Every project, question, and activity is specifically designed to help mentees grow as individuals, to help them expand their knowledge of what they are capable of, and to hopefully, introduce some of them to a new way of thinking.
Just as I am a firm believer in hard work and critical thinking, I am just as firm a believer in recognizing that sometimes, work needs to be set aside, and life needs to be lived- even if our work seems to be the most important thing that ever existed. My philosophy is that being a healthy person, be it physically, spiritually, emotionally, or mentally is essential to success. Despite what we may think, the world will not end if work does not get done by a deadline. Sometimes, we need to take a step back, walk away from the computer, put the screen down, walk outside, and feel the sun shine on our faces. It is imperative for my mentees to understand that nothing is worth their physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health. There is a time to do work and there is a time to not do work. I implore my mentees to schedule both into their lives.