I knew that since it was my first mentoring experience, I had to reflect on my own practice. I had to share this fact with my mentee because she too had to go through reflection in order to improve as ‘Reflection is the ability to bring past events to a conscious level to make sense of them and to determine appropriate ways to act in future. (Bornett, 1990 in Woodd, 1997, p.338). My mentee was anxious about what action I would take if I found many negative aspects or whether those aspects would be delivered to the manager bringing troubles to herself. I had to reassure my mentee that the aim of mentoring was the professional development of both of us and not for causing harm or troubles as the “Relationship leads to professional growth and development for both participants in the pair, in addition to serving as a support mechanism for the mentee. (Feiman-Nemser, 2001, in Bradbury and Koballa .Jr, 2008, p.2143)
Being a new mentor I had never got the opportunity to watch someone teaching and pupils’ reactions in a different classroom situation and I feared that my mentee could hold back since another person was with her while she was teaching. When I entered the classroom, I saw some pupils standing, some talking while some were shouting and my mentee was trying to silence them. She also had to stop in the middle of her explanation to keep pupils quiet and then had to restart from the beginning. I felt my mentee’s embarrassment since I was witnessing all this. On watching the classroom situation, I realized that every classroom is different and every teacher is unique. Observing my mentee, I discovered techniques and methods that I could adopt in my teaching. For example, I found her all the times jotting down key words on the board and using visual clues to reinforce oral instructions. I found myself admiring my mentee for having the ability to hide her irritation and keeping her calm when the students were talking and disturbing the class during the explanation and I believe that those are among the qualities a good teacher should possess. The school bell rung and my mentee’s teaching was left incomplete. Pupils seemed to have a very short attention span, spending considerable amounts of time off task and work remained unfinished (DfES, 2004, Unit 18).When I met her after the class, she was unwilling to speak and only smiled. I knew that she was feeling embarrassed. I sensed that she needed my support. Bullougn and Draper (2004, in Cain 2002) reported that mentors were expected to fulfill a variety of roles, within a demanding conception of the proper ‘mentor’ unable to live up to these expectations, they embraced an attitude of ‘cool’ professionalism towards their mentee, masking their true feelings about teaching and mentoring offers in order to protect them from stress. So I shared a hilarious joke with her just to make her feel comfortable since Bullough and Draper(2004) reported that mentors were expected to fulfill a variety of roles, within a demanding conception of the proper mentor unable to live up to these expectations, they embraced an attitude of cool professionalism towards their mentee, masking their true feelings about teaching and mentoring offers in order to protect them from stress.