In a previous post, I mentioned the recent creation of a CTE Tip Sheet devoted to Faculty Mentoring. I think it might be timely to follow up that post with some “testimonials” about the impact of mentors, ones that were submitted to the contest component of the 2010 Loving to Learn Day. That contest had four categories: UW students, staff, and faculty; students in Grades 1 to 8; students in Grades 9 to 12; and everyone else. The mentors that people wrote about for that contest about were diverse: parents, grandparents, spouses, colleagues, children, elementary school teachers, fictional characters, aunts, baby-sitters, brothers-in-law, hockey players, strangers in a nursing home, veterans, graduate supervisors, pets, and more. The things learned from those mentors were equally varied: confidence, integrity, humility, kindness, loyalty, new ways of learning, the value of education, how to ride a bike, of being proud of being trans-gendered, of being physically fit, of seeking social justice. Implicit in all of the submissions was the fact that the mentors had a profound and lasting impact on the authors — their lives would be diminished if they hadn’t met their mentor. Pieces of wisdom, too, are scattered through the submissions like diamonds in a field. This one, for example, is one of my favorite passages: “If you are to shed the light of the sun upon others, you must first have it within yourself.” You can read all of the winning submissions, as well as many others, at the Loving to Learn Day site.
The Centre for Teaching Excellence welcomes contributions to its blog. If you are a faculty member, staff member, or student at the University of Waterloo (or beyond!) and would like contribute a posting about some aspect of teaching or learning, please contact Mark Morton or Trevor Holmes.