The Mentoring System: Vol. III - Svetlana Sobolev

The third volume of the series titled "Mentoring System" continues with comments from a mentor, Svetlana Sobolev. Sobolev states that there's nothing she doesn't like about the new system and comparing this new system to the previous one, she notes that:

"I can only compare it to the system I was a loyal subject to when I just joined the institution. That system, though totally different, was also great, I think. First of all, I love direct input, and we had a lot of it, which I sincerely enjoyed. To be sure, we had plenty of hands-on-task activities at that time, too. It wasn't unbalanced at all. Secondly, we had four incredibly devoted and loving teacher trainers who were always there for me and for all of us. I will never forget Yesim Hoca, Zeynep Hoca, Irem Hoca and Alev Hoca. They will be my teachers for as long as I live. They shared their vast knowledge with us so generously, eagerly and selflessly that they became an icon of devotion to profession for me. Third of all, I was highly motivated despite tough schedule and many assignments and TPs because I did feel that I was learning something new every day thanks to that system and people who implemented it. So, I think, styles may differ but the core never will. Love for what one does is the core, I believe. I felt a lot of love back then. I feel a lot of love now,
too. The team has become bigger, so, obviously, love is growing, too. It feels great! Chinese proverb says 'Change is always for better.' God bless our teachers!"

Here is a list of advantages of the mentoring system for the mentees as summarized by Sobolev:

- firsthand experience as to real life classroom atmosphere with its problems, ups and downs;
- watching other teachers overcoming (hopefully!) some problems mentees face in their classes - thus, learning coping strategies;
- gaining a third-person prospective by watching other people do what they (mentees) do in their own classes; this may give mentees a chance to reflect on their own performance and approach their problems with a problem-solving mindset rather than with a panicking attitude;
- watching mentors going for very challenging lesson plans may encourage mentees to take some risks in their own practice;
- a chance to ask questions to people who are willing to share what they have learnt;
- a chance to visit the same mentor again if needs be to see development of an idea or of a method.

Sobolev also lists the things she truly likes about the system, including personal and professional benefits alike:

- a chance to be observed in class by attentive and highly-motivated people who are well prepared by their trainer to notice many things about your class performance. They are also eager to discuss their observations with you and you do happen to feel enlightened by their comments. Being observed by such people is a privilege and a huge motivational tool for professional and personal growth, I think. Well, at least for me,
it is like that.
- the system motivates you to exert. For me, this is the most valuable advantage of the whole establishment.
- the system bonded me to my “inner teacher” like nothing had ever been able to; this was achieved through exertion and desire to help others, I think.
- the system opened new professional horizons for me by clearly demonstrating me that I could do better things than I had ever expected; I will continue challenging myself.
- the system clearly demonstrated plenty of imperfections in my performance which I am determined to eradicate.

Clearly, the system seems to have proved useful not only for the mentees, but also for the mentors. More to come about the mentoring system... Keep following us!

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