A mentor is more effective in the long run if they have an initial focus on building a relationship for learning. Yet this relationship is much more than establishing a comfortable climate. It is the dynamic interaction of educators needing to feel safe to think out loud and plan for gathering information about their questions with a professional guide, designed to both support and challenge their thinking. After reading about conditions of effective early childhood education professional mentoring relationships in Chapter 2, respond to the following:
- Describe at least three ways in which partnering with another adult and applying professional skills and knowledge is different from simply building a friendship with a colleague.
- Reflect on figure 2.1 from Chapter 2 and consider patterns that you have observed in any learning partnerships you have been involved in or have observed. Discuss general strengths and challenges in a specific mentoring relationship you have been involved in or have observed.