Mentoring: fostering strong relationships between learners and trainers

Monday, July 4, 2022

We’ve all had mentors in different stages of learning – from early caregivers and educators to that teacher in high school who made a huge difference. A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser, usually one who has something valuable to teach.

Mentoring is an important aspect of our approach to training.

People tend to think of learning as an individual experience, and while it is definitely a personal journey, there are also many moments of collaboration and connection. Mentors and learners are a partnership with shared goals. The relationship between learners and their mentors provides support and creates a strong foundation for future professional relationships.

Mentorship

What is a mentor?

There are many different types of mentor/mentee exchanges, but all of them are based on a working relationship between someone who acts as an adviser to someone less experienced. In a workplace or training environment mentors use their experience of the field to help their mentees learn, grow and develop professionally.

Mentorship is a fundamental aspect of being an aged care or early childhood education trainer with Selmar. Our trainers are mentors who understand the ins and outs of the sector, having worked extensively in their specialty sectors themselves. They’ve also been on their own journey of learning and discovery on the way to becoming a trainer, which makes them well equipped to give advice on all aspects of the learning experience.

10 ways trainer support influences the learning journey

The way trainers mentor and support learners encourage them to thrive. This encouragement comes in many forms. Below are ten ways mentorships influence the learning journey:

1. Giving advice

Mentors have something new learners don’t have, and that’s experience. This qualifies them to give advice. Our mentors use their specific knowledge of the training process as well as all things sector-specific to provide invaluable insights and guidance.

2. Consultation and feedback

Giving and receiving feedback is an integral part of mentorships. Mentors aim to develop a trusting and reciprocal exchange with their learners based on clear communication. Feedback and consultation is a great way to identify areas in which learners may need assistance and for them to raise questions, leading to personal development and growth.

3. Encouragement and support

We all need to feel supported and encouraged to learn. Feeling like there is someone cheering you on makes a huge difference to how you perform and motivates you to keep on going when things get tough. When learners are struggling they can look to their mentor for motivation and strength.

4. Setting goals

Sometimes it’s hard to set personal goals and stick to them. This is where your mentor comes in! Mentors can help learners to establish realistic and focused goals which help focus the learner’s efforts and give them a sense of achievement and reward.

5. Help with practical placement

Practical placement can be daunting, especially if it’s the learner’s first time – which is why mentoring is particularly important. Having a mentor by your side means finding the right facility and then going into placement with the confidence and support learners need to succeed.

6. Shared passion and expertise

Our mentors are passionate about aged care and early childhood education, as well as the learning experience, which cannot be underestimated. They love what they do, and this makes a difference to the quality of their teaching and advice. The partnership between mentor and learner is based on a fundamental passion for creating meaningful change in both the aged care and early childhood sectors, and the community through compassion and care.

7. Individualised training and support

Individual learners have different learning styles and needs. Part of being a good mentor is observing individual learners and deciding what teaching approach is best for them. Mentors can tailor their advice, training and support to maximise success for different learners.

8. Building confidence

Becoming a capable and skilled carer or educator requires confidence. It’s important that mentors help to instill a sense of capability and self-belief in learners so that they can go into the workforce feeling confident and at ease with new challenges.

9. Building a network

Mentors are the link between learners and the sector. For our learners, this looks like establishing connections with service providers and other sector professionals. Networking with the help of a mentor can be the first essential step toward career progression.

10. Professional development

Mentors hold their learners to a high standard, instilling values that will set them up future success in the workplace. Mentors can assist learners to develop qualities like professional conduct, respect, clear communication and diligence. These attributes distinguish our learners and lead to employability.

How our trainers support learners

Learner success is our priority, and our learners are supported in every aspect of the journey. Our team of dedicated trainers, coordinators and mentors are here to assist learners from start to finish, whether it’s with study tips or literacy support, to practical placement coordination and advice.

Whatever delivery mode learners choose, there is a mentor to support them. For distance learners, mentors are available to chat via phone call or email. They can also set up consultations or physical study sessions with their learners to provide extra study support. Mentors also visit their learners during placement to check in with their progress.

Workplace learners can expect monthly visits from their mentor. These visits are a great opportunity to catch up on the learner’s progress, ask questions and air concerns. The mentor can also liaise between the learner and service management to establish dialogue and resolve any issues. Mentors also provide assistance with coursework so that trainees do not become overwhelmed.

Creating strong foundations

Our goal at Selmar is to provide learners with the opportunity to create strong foundations through mentorship.

The relationship between mentor and learner is not just supportive for the learner but emblematic of the professional relationships they will continue to build throughout their career.

Discover the value of mentorships when you study with Selmar.

 

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