Lately, I've been able to learn a lot from observation of a very patient and competent team member. This team member is typically about five steps ahead the team, and the only way I know that is that every time she's asked a question, she knows the answer. She has done her research.
She's a forward thinking, systematic planner, researcher, and practitioner. I know she works with many to improve her craft and learn the latest ways to complete her job.
She's a good listener too. Typically she responds to questions with considerable respect and clarifying questions. She is not judgmental and doesn't use condescending critique or humor either. It's clear that her demeanor, effort, and service to others have earned her trust as I watch many turn to her to ask questions, seek her consult, and share information.
We learn a lot from observation of those around us. We can seek out opportunity to be in the midst of mentors like this admirable team member, and we can learn a lot from them. When we join organizations, it brings us into the midst of many terrific leaders. At last year's MTA Annual meeting, I was inspired by so many dedicated educators and union leaders. Last night I was inspired by Governor Baker's intelligent, warm speech, a speech where he showed gratitude to many and emphasized the need for compromise and collaborative effort/result. There are many educators in my midst who inspire me daily as they teach--I am always humbled by the terrific teaching and care for children I see.
How do you find mentors that inspire you? Do you look online as well as offline for these leaders? What characteristics determine a good mentor for you? Who are the mentors in your midst that help you learn?
I'll continue to watch this patient team member and learn from her expertise. She's a good teacher for me as she has what I aspire to gain. Onward.