Mentor. As I say the word aloud there are immediate images that appear in my mind. I even feel a slight nervous flutter that often accompanies my anxiety when I’m taking a risk or starting something new. It’s not a bad feeling, especially when I know I’m not stepping into the unknown alone. I can still visualize the calm, reassuring smile of my very first teacher mentor as we would sit across the table and plan lessons or problem solve. She seemed to always know what to say and never made me feel I was interrupting her work or asking a dumb question. I know I thanked her a thousand times, but I don’t know if she ever really knew how thankful I really was for her patience , kindness, and generosity in sharing her wealth of resources and knowledge- but most of all for her friendship and believing in me . I have had other mentors across the years who each shared their expertise and our relationships often varied. Each adding to my foundation of knowledge and continued growth as a teacher and professional. Inspiring me to mentor others in return.
So -now fast forward 20 + years to 2018 and via Twitter I read about Noa Daniels and Leigh Cassell amazing #OEMConnect Mentors project. A virtual mentoring program that connects Canadian preservice teachers to experienced teachers and experts in all grade levels and content areas through a Digital Human Library. WOW! First, I am blown away someone had this creative idea and secondly, that they were able to follow through and make it a reality. So I did what I normally do- I proceeded to stalk them on Twitter. Which I faithfully did until a couple of months ago,when Noa invited me, an American teacher, to join their pool of Mentors! NEW ADVENTURES- NEW CHALLENGES- GROWTH OPPORTUNITY– of course I said yes, after I cried in humility. What an honor! I have submitted my Mentor profile and now I wait- hoping to be lucky enough to be selected as someone’s’ mentor.
I kind of feel like I’m back in High School gym class waiting to be selected for someone’s team- but this time I’m doing the “Pick me! Pick me!” dance…and so I wait … to be continued. Meanwhile, Check out the Digital Human Library https://www.digitalhumanlibrary.org and Learn more about OnEDConnectMentors on Noas’ blog https://www.buildingoutsidetheblocks.com