Master of Arts in Educational Technology (OMET) Pepperdine University  
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Reflections
  My Mentoring Experience

Mentoring Reflection 1 – This past week was difficult. I sacrificed a training session that I really wanted and needed to attend. My mentee and I had planned a few months ago to attend a training being held at WestEd’s headquarters in San Francisco. The Mathematics, Science and Technology department had two proposals due out and both needed immediate attention. Even though it was May’s job responsibility to remain behind and complete the task, I sent her to the training and handled the problems and eventual submissions myself. This experience helped me to understand my role as a mentor more so than my role as a supervisor to May. As a supervisor, I might have required her to stay behind and do her job, but the mentor in me wants May to succeed and be recognized for the rising star that she is. I knew she was looking forward to the training and I could not deny her that valuable experience. The following day I asked May to share with me what she had learned at the training; a “teach-back” if you will. I was impressed with all that she had learned in the daylong session and with her ability to clearly explain the new technology and how we could best utilize it in our department. I was pleased with the outcome of my decision. It confirmed what the essence of mentoring means; being prepared to make certain sacrifices such as time, money and yes, even a training opportunity.

Mentoring Reflection 2 – May and I met Tuesday, February 24 for about 15 minutes in the morning. I wanted to take this brief few moments to talk to her about how her ski trip went. Since May is not only my mentee, she also works for me. Since we discuss work all day long, I like to pull her aside every so often, just to interact on a social level. I learn much from these conversations. It gives me a glimpse into another side of May that I might not otherwise have if it weren't for these simple conversations. We laughed about a few of the spills she took and how embarrassed she was by the falls in front of her more capable companions. I told her I could relate. I remember when I first learned to ski and some of the falls that I took. In a way, this ski adventure is a metaphor for May's career at WestEd; she is just beginning to learn how to maneuver the slopes of research education and become comfortable in an unfamiliar environment.

Mentoring Reflection 3I normally meet with May, alone, for our mentoring session once a week. This week, however, I decided to take both May and Uma out for lunch yesterday, Thursday, March 5. Uma is new to WestEd. Having hired Uma only a couple of months ago, and seeing excellent potential in her in her abilities, I am considering mentoring Uma as well. I looked at this as an opportunity to share with her the mentoring relationship that May and I maintain. I cleared this with May ahead of time and she agreed with the dual purpose of the meeting. It was an incredible bonding experience for all three of us. We enjoyed each other’s company, good food and relaxed conversation. Having worked at WestEd over a year now, May, although younger, seems to have taken on the older sister role. It is a delight watching her interact and train her peer. I was observing her, in action, at the informal luncheon. She is very attentive to Uma’s needs and appears to have a genuine spirit of collaboration. May is not threatened by the fact that Uma has a Master’s degree and is older. She seems to truly want the best for her. I have confidence that May will make a wonderful mentor some day.

Mentoring Reflection 4May and I had a great connection yesterday. She is helping me with my action research project in that she is going to be one of the P2P support group members. She shares my enthusiasm for the project. May has already contributed some good ideas as far as the recruitment of the other participants in my quasi-experimental study. This is truly a reciprocal relationship! I appreciate her willingness to share her skills with me. Sometimes May seems overwhelmed by the workload she is given. I try my very best to help her work through the stress and not add to it. She is learning, on her own, to cope with the tricky demands of multi-tasking. May knows that this is something that has to come from her but knows I am there to support and guide her through the learning process when needed. I was asked yesterday to be Uma’s mentor. She is young employee that I hired about two months ago. I gladly accepted her invitation knowing that my plate is already full. But it is difficult to refuse someone so full of possibilities and potential. I look forward to this new opportunity having learned a great deal in this class about how to be a good mentor.