Chapter 2: What is a mentor?

Print Page

Section 1. What is a mentor?

Following are several descriptions of the role of a mentor.

Mentor Roles
Role description Reference
Trusted guide Homer's Odyssey
Teacher, sponsor, host, counselor, supporter, guru, advisor Levinson, 1978
Teacher, coach, trainer, positive role model, developer of talent, opener of doors, protector, sponsor, successful leader Schein, 1978
Traditional mentor, supportive boss, organizational sponsor, professional mentor, patron, invisible Godparent Phillips-Jones, 1982
Guide, supporter, challenger Daloz, 1983
Teacher, counselor, supporter, protector, promoter, sponsor Zey, 1984

Confidant Gehrke & Kay, 1984
Master teacher, teacher advisor, teacher specialist, teacher research-linker, consultant Bird, 1985

Colleague teacher, helping teacher, peer teacher, support teacher Borko, 1986
Trusted professional colleague, supporter, coach, facilitator of independence Odell, 1989
Responder to concerns, colleague, initiator of professional growth Huling, 1990
Conferencer, observer of teaching, problem solver, informer about school culture and climate Ganser, 1996
Empathizer, acknowledger of accomplishments, interpreter of teaching/learning events NES, 1997

Copyright 1998, Austin Educational Associates

Activity A

Choosing from the list above or adding your own thoughts, pick two or 3 roles that seem to match your idea of the role of a mentor.

These words describe my idea of the role of a mentor: