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I spent pleasant time in reading chapter 7 (Working one-to-one). The whole idea of mentoring and mentors was absolutely new for me. At my first reading of the chapter, I could not understand fully the nature of the mentor's job, which made me curios to find out more about this interesting idea of mentoring teachers. I was wondering about who mentors are and I found a good definition, “Mentors are transformative change agents who bring clarity, voice, compassion, attitude and direction to the beginning teacher. Mentors are transparent in their practice so that beginning teachers are able to connect theory to practice and make these connections in their classroom”. Honestly, this is my first time to get to know about this job and about the mentor's responsibilities. A quick flashback came over my mind about my first day in schools as a student teacher, a novice teacher and even as a new teacher when I moved to a new school. Being new in anything makes you in deep need of guidance and assistance but unfortunately these are not offered to new teachers.

I remember my first day as a student teacher and recall the picture of myself wandering around the schools looking for the regular teacher, who was supposed to be our assistants. She was so cold and the only help she could offer was handing out the books. Ironically, asking any questions about the course book or about the way you could teach something was considered an identification of being not qualified. The only answer you may get is “you are going to be a real teacher one day so figure out yourself!”

As a novice teacher, I was luckier. On my first day at the school, I received a very hot welcome from the first teacher- a teacher who was assigned to be head of other teachers- and she promised to offer me any help she could. She introduced me to the other teachers and to my class. Also, she showed me the school facilities and gave me my course books. Although she was not an ELT, she was very supportive and helpful. I learned a lot about class management and young learners from her. It was my first time to work with children and I was finding difficulties in managing the class and in parsing the students. When I consulted her, cheerfully, she welcomed me in her class and offered all the advice I needed.

It is not only about being a student or novice teacher, even experienced teachers need help. When I moved to a new school; I was seeking help just as others. I needed to learn about the new place and its new conditions. I was very lost in my first month there; everything was messed up and I was really frustrated.

Malderez and Wedell mentioned about the mentor's roles in their book. The mentor is an assistant, a modal, support, a sponsor and an educator. If we can have mentoring in our schools, this would make it easier for teachers. The mentor's roles are very essential and this can push the wheel of our education system forward. I believe and agree with this quote, “Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more”. It may be right that introducing mentoring in our schools is costly, but ignoring teachers' need for guidance and help will be more dangerous.

I think at least at the beginning, we can have informal mentoring system. My experience with the first teacher as a novice teacher can be in some points an example of this informal mentoring. I wish that one day we could have formal mentoring programs. In general, mentor programs have a dual purpose: to reduce teacher’s attrition and to improve teacher’s effectiveness.

Code: Sample20

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