Traditionally, a teacher was considered someone who delivers information to the students inside classroom. He was expected to have solutions to all possible questions.
National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 has certified the importance of the role of a teacher in grooming students for nation-building. Now he is considered a significant donor and contributor to a student's career.
He is the one who brings out the best in a student and inspires him to strive for higher goals.
In NEP-2020, the teacher also remains at the core of bringing significant reforms in the field of education. The policy aims to highlight the status of a teacher as one of the most respected members of society.
Nowadays, a teacher has not only the responsibility of teaching, but he is also a mentor to transform the students’ life. The process of mentoring helps to train the new generations and turn them into efficient and successful members of society.
Mentoring is one of the most crucial tools that help recognize and achieve better options for career development for a student. Mentoring also helps explore new possibilities to interact and partner with other stakeholders.
It helps build a leader with relevant knowledge, abilities and skills. This helps promote a student's higher levels of commitment, engagement and vision for the appropriate career.
Despite the professional relationship between the mentor and the student, they remain connected with respect. Besides career, this process helps address the personal, psychological, socio-cultural and academic-related aspects of a student's life.
The mentoring system is the lifeblood of any educational system. It has guaranteed enhanced outputs and proficient employability. One of the recommendations of NEP-2020 is to develop a mentorship system for the benefit of students because a mentor's presence in a student's life can boost his confidence and guide him to be more successful in life.
The role of a mentor in any institution of learning is to design a road map for a well-balanced route of socialization and expose the learner to new academic fields. He makes the student familiar with the institutional ethos and the expected patterns of his behaviour.
He makes him oriented about the curriculum & pedagogy and the challenges he might face in the future course of time in & outside the classroom.
He is in a position to develop an attitude into a student for conducting a SWOC ((strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, & challenges)) analysis which is essential for a successful career.
His role becomes more relevant by introducing academic and professional ethics, a code of conduct and the cordial relationship between the students and other institutional stakeholders.
The mentor is an effective teacher as well. He is able to change the teacher-centric approach in education to a learner-centric one.
He converts passive classrooms to active & vibrant ones by infusing the learning-by-doing approach. He is multi-dimensional in responding to new situations. He is also creative and innovative.
He has the patience to listen to get the psychological autopsy of his student. He remains flexible by giving the student a chance to present alternative or differing ways to track, which helps him develop divergent and out-of-the-box thinking.
The role of a mentor is to share his knowledge and experiences, promote talent, and foster skills. He is the one who inspires, supports and encourages the student. His model behaviour is fascinated and impersonated and shapes his student's personality.
The mentor develops critical thinking through modelling among students. He is in a position to prepare his student to adopt critical thinking and apply that in future life.
Thus, he plays a crucial role in helping the student identify the potential areas, set his academic and professional development goals, and assess progress made in achieving these goals.
He offers relevant guidance related to good practices and learning tips. He keeps in-depth knowledge of his student and the knowledge about the workable strategies of the institution. The mentor frequently interacts with his student to catch his prospect, academic pursuit, and personality type.
For his effective mentoring, he himself is not only an intelligent learner but also an outstanding researcher. He is well qualified with novel counselling skills and is value-oriented. His guidance remains live, original and suited to student needs and takes care of his behavioural demands. He is able to make students bold and promising.
Every education institution must devise precise, attainable and relevant approaches while setting up the goals for mentoring. To develop an effective mentorship program at the institutional level, it is imperative to uphold shared trust and faith between the stakeholders.
At the institutional level, it is essential to decide and fix the desired outcome of any mentorship program. The institution should arrange different training sessions for teachers to become inspiring mentors. This will help them fix students' problems, and the redressal of such could be worked out individually.
To conclude, it is a well-known fact that in present times while choosing a career, a student faces a ‘problem of plenty’. He is not able to choose a career as per his aptitude due to a lack of vision, experience, and smartness.
Through mentoring, the student is better guided to choose the career that suits him because the mentor himself has gone through this stage and knows what works the best for a student in contemporary times.
An efficient mentor is always a good teacher and a resourceful counsellor. He should be able to stage a 'change-your-mind' debate with the student so that attitudinal change is brought.
He should be in a position to develop more appeal towards academics and should let his student see the passion he has for academics. A mentor himself should always be willing to learn. His observations & discussions shall infuse research intent into a student, and he should become an agent of campus change.
The mentoring process works efficiently if a mentor gets a good student who shoulders some notable responsibilities. He must have a strong desire to learn and to seek guidance.
He should be all set to put on from the mentor's experience. He has to be sincere, focused, goal-oriented, responsive to challenges, an initiative taker, eager to learn, and open to new possibilities and multiple influences.
There is a dire need to nurture mentoring qualities among existing teachers at all levels, and now it is also high time to appoint well-qualified and trained teachers.
A proper mechanism needs to be devised to catch the young people who are energetic and interested in teaching. Inculcate the spirit of professionalism among new recruits so that they prove to be the best mentors.
Dr. Mohammad Sayid Bhat is a Sr. Assistant Professor in Central University of Kashmir.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.