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Statewide Mentors Meet for Training

by Ruth Ann Marsh, TSBVI Outreach Mentor Support Coordinator

On June 11th and 12th, forty master VI teachers convened at the World of Tennis convention facility on the shores of Lake Travis to learn more about mentoring. Dr. Leslie Huling, an education professor from Southwest Texas University in San Marcos presented the first day on general aspects of serving as a mentor teacher. She emphasized that a mentor is a supporter, model and guide-not an evaluator. Mentoring is qualitatively different from supervising in that aspect. On June 12, Dr. Jane Erin, professor of the vision program at Arizona University in Tempe, presented on the specific needs of new vision teachers, especially ones who work in an itinerant position. Dr. Erin also facilitated a planning session where the requirements for mentors and protégés were outlined.

Several additional training sessions will be held this year for prospective mentors, both for VI teachers and O & M specialists. The next one will be in the early fall, possibly immediately following SWOMA. Details are yet to be worked out, but all O & M specialists in Texas will be notified. If you are interested in expanding your horizons as a VI professional and want to "make a difference" by helping a novice professional become both proficient and confident, please call me, Ruth Ann Marsh, the new mentor coordinator, at (512) 806-9203 or email her at MarshTSBVI@aol.com. If you cannot be a mentor because of other commitments, but have ideas that you think might be useful, we welcome your input. Since a statewide mentoring program for itinerant professionals has never been tried before, I am looking for a mentor to mentor me!!

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Go to Summer 1998 Table of Contents.