What Mentors Often Miss

August 8, 2014

Two ma­jor ingredients in men­tor­ing are of­ten left out of ac­a­dem­ic and pro­fes­sion­al-de­vel­op­ment di­a­logues on the sub­ject. One is a sim­ple yet nov­el ap­proach: Care. Professors should deep­ly care for those they men­tor. Be­come a friend. Cer­tain­ly not the most schol­ar­ly of per­spec­tives, au­then­ti­cal­ly car­ing for a men­tee mat­ters more than any­thing else be­cause it al­lows both par­ties to sus­tain a re­la­tion­ship be­yond what’s mu­tu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial. And I don’t mean car­ing in the very dis­tant, arm’s-length (and dare I say, dis­in­gen­u­ous?) way all pro­fes­sors “care” for our stu­dents. The kind of car­ing nec­es­sary for a suc­cess­ful men­tor­ing re­la­tion­ship re­quires an emo­tion­al in­vest­ment not just in the ac­a­dem­ic jour­ney of the stu­dent but also in the per­son­al one. We must go be­yond the role of teach­er while not ab­di­cat­ing that role, ei­ther. Continue reading on the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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