The Privilege of Mentorship

ArushaTimes News

I love teaching.
I love working with children.
I love watching them bring creativity, joy, and determination to each classroom, each grade group, and the larger school community. It really is amazing to behold.
And then I saw the box.
It was just sitting there, alone, in the corner of my garage. In it were some old papers and books from my university days. As I flipped through and perused its contents, I soon found myself reflecting on the 14 years since I graduated and began teaching. I recalled some of my most formative experiences, many happening in my early teaching days. Some were wonderful memories, though a number were more humbling in nature. Yet I am grateful for them all, and to have been mentored by several strong professionals who encouraged me to lean into my passions and work through challenges. Such people supported me endlessly in those times of uncertainty and deep growth. I can now say (many years later) how important those individuals were to my practice today. Indeed, I still find myself using some of the strategies I learned in those first years of teaching and mentorship.
But to simply know is not enough, and through our connections with Trinity Western University, I (along with several other staff members) have stepped into an official mentorship role with some of the educators of tomorrow. As I experienced all those years ago, it is now my turn to speak, guide, mold, and direct student teachers, offering support during their practicums and educational programs. As a school team we treat our role as advisors very seriously, we enjoy offering feedback and support, praying with our student teachers, and gleaning gems of pedagogical practice for ourselves.
As I am quickly learning, the support does not begin or end with us, for it involves every member of our school community. And so we ask for your support as well. We ask that you pray for us and our student teachers. Pray that the time they spend within our community is one of holistic growth, development, and meaningful reflection. Pray that when it is their turn to find a wayward box of memories in their garage, they too will be inspired to support the next generation.
Kelly Blackmore, Intermediate Coordinator and Grade 4 teacher