I believe that subtle differences in approach can be what determine whether a professor finds a career of frustration and disenchant-ment or joy and fulfillment. Because teaching is such a large part of our jobs, it is crucial that we work toward continuous improvement in our teaching. This is much easier done with colleagues than alone. As a mentor, I attempt to provide interactions that are supportive, helpful, positive, and that prompt deeper reflection.
For me, mentoring relationships are reciprocal in nature. It has often been the case that I have begun the relationship as the mentor and at some point both of us become mentors and mentees simultaneously. These relationships have been highly satisfying by enriching many aspects of our professional lives. The life of a professor can be alienating and lonely, so engaging in conversations about academic life with one another serves to enhance our otherwise isolated existence.
I am a “mentee.” I became familiar with the CTL when I was struggling in my own classroom. So, I know what it feels like to need assistance and to get it. I know how great it can be to work with a faculty member who cares—about his/her own teaching and about yours. Mentoring is a relationship in which both parties benefit by sharing ideas and strategies. Although I have my own experiences to share, I know the importance of listening and suggesting ideas that fit into a person’s own personal teaching style.
Special Education, Rehabilitation and School Psychology
Having my first name as EunMi, which means “the beauty of sharing” in Korean, mentoring relationships come naturally to me. Through the Faculty Mentoring Faculty program, I would like to share my time and expertise within two dimensions. First, I will work with newer faculty regarding their interests in scholarship activities. Second, I will facilitate in planning their career paths. If I practice the meaning of my first name right, then they will become more familiar with our university culture, increase their potential, use our campus resources effectively, and succeed as professors. Sharing is the key to our success as a team.
Humanities & Religious Studies
I’ve experienced open conversations with my mentors as an invaluable source of nourishment in finding a place for myself as a teacher and scholar. I bring to mentoring a keen interest in the daily details of teaching, as well as the wide range of personal relationships that challenge and inspire us in our academic lives.
Kimberly A. Gordon Biddle,
I like to listen to your concerns and then reflect them back to be sure I understand them. Then I can provide support or suggestions or strategies, whatever you need. Being a good
teacher is not a place where you finally or suddenly arrive. Being a good teacher means constantly growing, learning, changing, and adapting.
Kinesiology and Health
Faculty mentoring is important because it is a chance to share my love of teaching with my peers. Mentoring is about helping others discover their potential. Strategies in teaching that I share with colleagues include creating an intimate environment for learning by emphasizing teaching students not just subject matter. Incorporating active learning in classes helps to engage students in class. Discovery of the soul and heart of teaching helps the teacher have a purposeful career and makes effective teaching come to life.
Mark Stoner (on leave 2012-2013)
For me, mentoring is about helping colleagues get to the goals they have for themselves. With this approach, my knowledge of and experience in teaching becomes “optional reading” –a resource– rather than “assigned reading” for mentees. The outcome is that mentees typically get to where they want to be, and we have some fun getting there!