Mentoring and the connection between colleagues has long been a hallmark of MCEA. Each of us has relied on other colleagues to learn what we need to know to be successful. The primary purpose of the MCEAMentor Experience is to provide support, learning and professional growth opportunities to members within the organization (both new and experienced professionals). Participants are paired for support and collegiality. In addition, the program provides opportunities to:
On your registration form, you will be given the opportunity to select a specific area(s) of interest. We will use that information to pair mentors and mentees as best we can, based on the information you provide. MCEAalso encourages members to communicate in whatever method works best for them; phone, email, in-person, etc. As best practice dictates, we will also take into consideration the geographical proximity of matches as well as their community size. In addition, we offer social opportunities during the MCEA Fall Conference and Leadership Days for all mentor and mentees to connect and for those who are interested in the MCEA Mentoring Experience.
Once the mentor and mentee have been matched, the mentor will take the initial step in contacting the mentee. As a pair, you should determine a meeting or conversation schedule that works for the both of you.
Mentoring is a key piece of growth and development. It allows you to gain momentum by learning from people ahead of you in business or leadership. There’s so much value in being a student of those who are ahead of you.
Growth and momentum are keys to success. The most successful leaders do more than most ordinary people. The challenge of figuring out how to take momentum to the next level can be daunting. That’s why MCEA developed a mentoring program. We saw a need for a program that could give new to the community ed. field employees a comprehensive approach to growth with the best faculty in the state.
Community Ed. professionals have been meeting and gathering informally since our inception. What we hope is that by being more intentional about mentoring, we’ll create more connections and sharing of information, plus if two people connect, and then learn and grow from each other, bonds of friendship are formed and we have a stronger field.
The mentor is not a consultant, in other words they shouldn’t be doing work for the mentee. They are there to provide feedback and encouragement.
Mentors shouldn’t be doing it for pay. If they do a lunch meet-up, and the mentor is retired, maybe the mentee could pay for the lunch. Hopefully the home district would reimburse them for mileage.
Both parties should keep conversations confidential. There’s nothing worse than finding out something you shared in confidentiality has been leaked out.
Share your passion! If you are enthusiastic about something, your enthusiasm will be contagious.
Before you begin, have the conversation of what each person hopes to gain from this experience, as well as how often you want to meet. Starting off on the same page with the same expectations will go a long way.
We want this to be a good fit for both the mentor and the mentee, if it isn’t working there should be no shame in finding someone else to work with. We try to align folks that work in the same size district, that hold similar positions, and work within an hour’s drive of each other. We realize that we won’t always find the perfect fit, and if it doesn’t work, we will look to find a new mentor/mentee. MCEA will be checking in periodically to see how things are working out.
MCEA will provide a list of starter questions for the first initial meeting. They are designed to spark conversation, but by no means are you required to use them. How often you decide to meet and how you would like to shape each meeting is up to you. You have the flexibility to do what is best for you both.