A Reflective Paper written by my daughter while she was studying for her BA - in Early Childhood Education
Reflective Paper 1
A mentor to me is someone who inspires, someone who is intelligent, someone who you can trust whole heartedly, someone who is wise, someone with an immaculate judgement and a friend as well.
According to dictionary.com, a mentor is someone who is an influential senior individual. As I was growing up, there have been many individuals that I have looked up too and considered them as my mentors. Over time, life and mentors changed for me but one mentor has stayed consistent trough out my growing up journey and that is my mother. Individuals today have so much of stress and pressures that, a generation ago, didn't even exist.
Traditionally, the family provides a solid support system for children to process through these challenges. (Lawton, 2010)
But my mother is a juggler. She juggles so many roles and things in her life all at once; from being a mother, to a wife, to a trainer and a businesswoman as well. Yet through-out all these tasks, she stands strong. How could you not be inspired by such ability? From the lecture that took place on 4th January 2010 at Wheelock by Susan Harris-Sharples, a mentor needs to be someone who communicates, advises and is a role model.
Role models are individuals who possess the qualities that we would like to obtain and who have affected us to make us want to be better people.(Herminia, 2000) Girls at a young age look up to their mothers as a role model; wanting to be just like them when they grow up. They would imitate their walk, their talk and even their dressing. Now, at twenty one years of age, I still feel like that little girl who looks up to her mother with completely admiration. A mentor who is an excellent role model has to be aware of her influence on her mentee.
According to Communication, 2009, communication allows us to interact with one another; without it, we would be unable to share knowledge or experiences with anything outside of ourselves. I believe a mentor must be able to communicate effectively with his/her mentee. Despite my mother’s busy schedule, she always has time to sit down and talk with me. When I talk to my mother, I feel as if my views are being respect and valued.Although it might not be long, but this personal time we share, is something I think every mentor should invest in. It helps build rapport between mentor and mentee which I feel is essential.
Giving appropriate advice is part of being an amazing mentor. Rather than just simply giving you answers to your problems, a mentor should ask the right questions, advice you and lead you in the right direction to help you solve the problem at hand. Advice given should not be bias or judgmental. If a mentor constantly gives answers to solving the problem, the relationship between the mentor and mentee would be unstable and hence strain. My mother gives me really beneficial advice. She does not help me solve my problems; she guides me to solve my problems by myself.
Being a mentor is not an easy role. My mother has done exceptionally well being an amazing mentor for me and my brother. There are so many valuable skills that I value and wish to obtain from my mother. For one, her ability to juggle everything in her life is an amazing feat. Besides juggling work, business and a family, she finds the time to be an inspirational mentor. The thing I most appreciate about my mentor is her thrive for excellence and her love that overcomes boundaries without asking for anything in return. I can only hope and dream that I become an amazing mentor and mother to my own children when I have them just like MY MOTHER.
Communication. (2009). Retrieved January 04, 2010, from Knowledgerush:http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Communication/
Herminia. (2000). Role Models and Online Mentoring. Retrieved January 05, 2010, from Techup: http://www.techup.org/mentor/mn_rolemd.html
Lawton, G. (2010). What makes an effective youth mentor. Retrieved January 05, 2010, from helium: http://www.helium.com/items/1307652-what-makes-a-good-youth-mentor