The Value of the JET Mentoring Program
Over the last few months, I had the opportunity to speak to one of our JET mentors as well as one of our JET mentees who have been a part of our mentorship program this past year.
From A Mentor's Perspective
Mirna is a former bilingual elementary school teacher, who later moved into administration, becoming an assistant principal. After working directly in schools, Mirna progressed to central office staff, overseeing a number of elementary schools. We are fortunate to have her as one of our JET mentors for our third cohort of participants where she is a mentor to four mentees. I had the opportunity to speak with Mirna about her experience mentoring our participants and she had some excellent things to say about her role as well as the importance of mentoring in general. Mirna connects with her mentees in one-on-one sessions at least monthly. During these meetings the mentor and mentee are able to talk through any concerns that are on the mentee’s mind. Mirna recalled that she speaks with some of her mentees on more personal issues while she works with others on a more logistical operational level with regards to college credits, course selection, financial aid, etc. Mirna sees the value of the mentor/mentee relationship in the ability to connect individuals who are going through work, family, study life balance issues with a person who has gone through them on a personal and professional level and is able to give appropriate advice and guidance.
From A Mentee's Perspective
I also had the opportunity to speak with one of our JET participants, Melissa, about her experience with the JET mentor program. Melissa is part of cohort 3 with JET and currently works as a K0, K1 para. She has previous experience with both first and second grade as well. Melissa has found it helpful to have access to support from an individual who is a part of the JET program, but not fully involved in the program. It is almost like having an outside perspective. This is her first experience being involved in a mentoring relationship, and she explained to me that she meets with her mentor in-person once a month, and it is a way to keep her on track and aware of upcoming deadlines and events. She credits her mentor with always providing answers where they have can or helping to find an answer and report back to Melissa. Melissa would recommend being a part of a mentoring relationship with someone who is passionate about the work you are doing and has the necessary time to put into it.