EQ: How is mentoring adults different from teaching children?
Mentoring is so important for growth in adult learning. Having someone that holds you accountable for your actions, helps you to self-evaluate to ensure you are on track for your goals. I think these relationships help with teaching the mentee how to communicate and organize. Being able to talk about challenges and how you can better approach them the next time they surface is a great skill. So yes mentoring adults is different from teaching children.
Mentoring, the most complete human skill to acquire, teaching, coaching, facilitating, and other such similar descriptors describe a process for adult learning (Papa-Lewis 1984, 1987).
Having someone in your corner that cheers you on, is crucial for a person at any age. In reading Maynard’s post, it makes you understand how important her grandma’s mentoring helped her throughout life. The coaching she received was different when she was a child compared to when she was an older teen.
According to the Merrian-Webster.com dictionary website, to Mentor is to advise or train (someone, especially a younger colleague).
Responsibilities are unique at different levels of life. Furthermore, my opinion is that when we grow in learning – so do our learning styles, therefore, what worked as children might not work as an adult. Although some basic concepts are the same – like we need good note taking skills, a quiet place to work, and some things will take longer to learn than others.
Another point that I got from Maynard’s article is that we need the connection for unconditional love and acceptance. This will come in different forms at different ages. She also learned that she controlled the situational outcomes and had to own up to her choices. These are life lessons that are easier to master when we do have a “mentor” type person in our life.
(Papa, 2011) Great teaching is defined by the ability to inspire learners, motivate the learner, and you will grab their attention. Keeping a learner’s attention is more difficult.
According to the National Mentoring Project:
Adult learning according to Knowles, “topics must be relevant to their jobs or personal life.”
Adult learners need to material that they can relate to in life, if not – they might not learn the lessons. Therefore, the mentor/coach needs to help present the lessons in the fashion that the adult leaner can digest. This framework will not only help the adult mentee learn, but will be able to maintain their attention. The mentioned approach is very different than how a child learns.
Papa, R. (2011). Technology Leadership for School Improvement. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications,Inc. http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2051/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=467141&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_91 on March 11, 2017
Unknown. (n.d.). Mentor definition. Retrieved on March 25, 2017 from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mentor
Maynard, Sandy. (n.d.). This grandmother made a difference in one young ADHDer’s life — by supporting, encouraging, and believing in her when no one else did. Retrieved on March 25, 2017 from: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9780.html
National Mentoring Project. (n.d.). Why Mentor?. Retrieved on March 25, 2017 from: http://www.mentoring.org/why-mentoring/mentoring-impact/#1442263051104-6ca77555-c66a1be4-a01f