What is mentoring?
How do we understand mentoring?
As well as volunteering, mentoring as a phenomenon has many various definitions and formulations, too.
In the Association, we mostly use the formulation from the Czech Wikipedia:
Mentoring is a professional relationship of two people in which a mentor passes down experiences and knowledge to a mentee. The mentor thus guides a mentee in particular areas or topics and helps a mentee to find the right direction or solution.
The voluntary programmes we cooperate with or that might consider membership in the Association, use other formulations as well. Therefore, we would like to mention other citations from available resources for inspiration:
Dictionary of Foreign Terms: Positive mentoring in which a competent and experienced person offers professional, study and personal support, consultancy, leading, auspice, forwarding of knowledge, skills, and experiences to a professionally younger person to make their comprehensive personal, educational, and professional development easier.
The Centre for Gender & Science: Mentoring is a process through which younger and less experienced people (so–called mentees) are given support, advice, and friendship that should enable them to start a career and be successful in work life or study.
It is a very effective instrument of support and development of human potential that is being often used abroad – in academia (at schools, in science and research) and in the commercial sphere and business.
Apart from mentoring focusing on employees and their potential development and career growth, mentoring projects concentrate especially on students at high schools, universities, and Ph.D. students. The programmes focusing on pupils at primary schools are no exception as well.
Mentoring – Education towards professional volunteering: Mentor in a mentor relationship...
- Develops a relationship with a mentee – by providing various types of social support and hence fulfilling the needs of a mentee until mutual closeness, empathy, and trust develop. In this phase, a mentor relationship starts to bring to a child long–term benefits in personal and emotional development, in interpersonal relations and social integration, cognitive abilities, and skills. The mechanism of providing social support probably relates to the development of a relationship to a phase of quality.
- Develops specific forms of interactions – in many aspects, they come close to the Feuerstein characteristics of the so–called involved / engaged / committed adult (Málková, 2009). In the work of this author, dealing with the meaning of intermediate learning, are defined concrete parameters of behaviour of an adult person in teaching and everyday situations that represent a basis for effective learning and personality development of a child.
What is mentoring?
According to the project Keys for Life:
Mentoring or the so–called mentor relationship is one of the specific ways of volunteering that is in the Czech Republic, so far, not quite popular. It is an individual relationship between youth (a mentee) and adult (a mentor) who becomes for a certain period of time their patron and guide through life in adolescence. The task of the mentor is to help a child or youth to orientate in the society and social relations, and assist with achieving their academic, social, professional, or personal goals.
The mentor develops the assumptions of a child, creates opportunities for activities the child engages in, offers meaningful tasks, in which a personality of their mentee can develop. The mentor does not teach nor babysit the child. He is an older friend and often a positive hero as well. He strives especially for creating assumptions and opportunities for building a mutually satisfying relationship with their child mentee. This form of interpersonal relationship works as a natural connection of two people in any phase of their lives and is viable and naturally developing. Mutual tolerance and interest are then a basic prerequisite for the emotional development of a child.