To serve as a mentor or mentor teacher one should possess expertise in at least these three behavioral areas:
1. Interpersonal skills: the social or relationship skills that will empower the mentee to improve his or her professional practices. Example: The mentor should be a keen listener.
2. Reflection skills: the cognitive skills that will empower the mentee to reflect upon his or her professional practices. Example: The mentor should ask probing and clarifying questions.
3. Observational skills: the skill to see and document the professional practices the mentee knowingly or unknowingly emits. Example: The mentor can describe how students were engaged in the lesson that was taught by the mentee.
On the next blog post we will elaborate upon category one, the interpersonal skills required of the mentor teacher. In particular, we will discuss three important listening skills: simple listening (i.e. listening for ideas), emotional listening (i.e. listening for feelings) and respectful listening (i.e. listening to the ideas of those with whom we disagree).