Teaching and Mentoring as a Relationship

by Kelle on October 23, 2012

Many of the points in this article resonated with me and relate to the current topic of conversation.

To me the real purpose of our work [as faculty] is to mentor our students, to help them along their path to becoming thoughtful, engaged, self-aware citizens who are fully able to make choices that reflect their most cherished values; choices that lead them to a meaningful and satisfying life, however they define it….Mentoring is about encouragement and inspiration. It is about investing time and energy in other people, because other people matter to us.

via NEA – Teaching as Relationship: Opportunities to Mentor our Students.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Anonymous October 24, 2012 at 8:40 am

Well, this is certainly refreshing and I agree completely. The goal of mentoring is not to produce clones of ourselves (as the recent letter from Unnamed Academy would have us believe) but to help students reach the goals they have set for themselves. When students do not know what their goals are (as many incoming grad students do not), we should give them opportunities to discover their strengths and weakness so they can figure out their goals. The phrase “people matter to us” is something we desperately need to hear and own in astronomy. Right now the prevailing attitude is that people do not matter — it’s the science that matters — and we should do all we can to further science at the expense of people’s well-being (paying low wages; expecting ridiculous hours, etc.).

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