Mentoring – PD in Focus 3

(Image taken from www.juangreatleap.com)
(Image taken from http://www.juangreatleap.com)

In Greek mythology, Mentor (Greek: Μέντωρ, Méntōr; gen.: Μέντορος)[1] was the son of Alcimus or Anchialus or Heracles and Asopis. In his old age Mentor was a friend of Odysseus who placed Mentor and Odysseus’ foster-brother Eumaeus in charge of his son Telemachus, and of Odysseus’ palace, when Odysseus left for the Trojan War (Retrieved from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentor).

The role of mentors is so important, regardless of the profession one is in. Especially for us educators, having a mentor and mentoring other teachers can evolve into an amazing and creative relationship.

It is as simple as talking to someone about their worries, concerns, interests and guiding them into new paths. New kinds of teaching, new studies even. Be open and help out someone who needs it!

A new colleague: All of us remember how we felt when we first started teaching. We either felt scared of trying anything new out, or nervous before we started teaching a new level or student or class. Letting them know what you would do in those cases can feel reassuring, Perhaps they feel disappointed after a bad teaching moment – you can help them reflect on it and move on. With someone there to guide them, things are easier and can be solved.

A colleague with a problem. Again, as with new teachers a colleague might come up to you with a problem they have. A mentoring moment! Help them first of all understand that whatever it is, it has a solution. That if they have done something that didn’t work, it is not the end of the world (a lot of us tend to be self-flagellating) – they can reflect on it, see what they can do the next time it happens and not dwell on it too much. It can drain them of any motivation they have – this is another good aspect of having a mentor: getting all the motivation you need.

A fellow educator in need of new ideas. Either new or experienced, all of us have been in need of new ideas. We feel at some point that we have completely dried up and cannot come up with anything new. That is another form of mentoring! We can help that colleague get out of that predicament. Some new ideas and guidance and they’re good to go!

After their lessons, have feedback sessions with them, for you both to reflect on – set up discussion groups and/or feedback sessions, as I described in my previous post, PD in Focus 2.

From Zug to Belgium – A BELTA Webinar

BELTA Belgium
BELTA Belgium

Today was the day of the first webinar for BELTA Belgium, a great new association for English teachers in Belgium and everywhere, in fact! BELTA was founded by James Taylor, Mieke Kenis, Ellen de Preter, Guido van Landeghem and Jurgen Basstanie. You can read more about the foundation of BELTA and also watch the launch event here.

I was asked to do the first webinar for BELTA, which I accepted with great joy and honour. The topic was Professional Development for Now and the Future: A Guide to 2013 and you can watch the slideshow below:

I have also created a PDF file with the most useful links.

BELTA Presentation – Useful Notes

Here is the link with the recording of the webinar, which will also be published on the BELTA blog, Facebook and Twitter.

A huge thank you to BELTA and everyone who was there (including my parents!), in the Adobe Connect room and to my sister, Eugenia, who was there in the same room as I was, cheering us all on (and also helped me find a title to this blog post)!

A screen capture of the webinar (Photo by Roseli Serra)
A screen capture of the webinar (Photo by Roseli Serra)

Celebratory Comeback

www.lorasnetwork.com

These days have been full of happiness and lots of positive emotions – we have finally made our dream come true, or perhaps continue, or both! On February 1st, 2013 we celebrated the launch of The Loras English Network, the new venture my sister Eugenia and I have made.

We are extremely happy, as expected, for many reasons:

– It is a continuation of The Loras English Academy, the school we had in Greece, but there are some very pleasant additions to our project, apart from English lessons: a new logo and website, a Facebook page, teacher training and children’s events!

– Eugenia is very happy to be teaching again, after a pause of three years since her son was born. She was doing (and still is) a great job helping her daughter adjust to all the changes after moving to Switzerland and raising her baby son.

– We have called it a Network, because that is exactly what it is – as we are connected to all of you amazing educators around the globe!

A million thanks to you all, with all our heart, for all the support you have shown us the past week and all the lovely comments and wishes!