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Mentoring Questions


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#21 rae

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 12:00 PM

Okay here goes. I am a ceramic sculpture artist and returned to school to get my MFA. I have been an adjunct Instructor for the past 8 years but my position is no longer available. As an Instructor I felt honored to help mentor my students when they had difficulties and felt mentoring and teaching went hand in hand. Unfortunately, I have often found this not to be a general practice and at times the concern for the artistic development and overall welfare of the student is the last concern; to the point the students were not allowed to use the kilns, glaze rooms, fire their work and often professors not even showing up for class, etc. Also, and I must admit I am personally as little sensitive to this, does part of mentoring as a teacher carryover to helping locate a situation after graduate school or does it end at the door. I know I have applied to too many jobs to mention and various situations and feel if I only had one person in my corner who could put in a word or point me in the right direction, things might click.

#22 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 02:18 PM

EDIT: Actually in just thinking about it a bit more ..... you also should be taking on the role of the Admissions department too....screening the quality of the mentees as to appropriate to a serious relationship. Otherwise, the mentors time is not going to be appreciated.


I've been thinking about this and came up with an idea.

What if the mentoring area was password protected and you had to write an essay to get matched in?
Maybe an essay about what experience you have, what help you need and where you hope to go ??

This would help the mentee focus on their plans, give the potential mentors a good idea of what would
be needed and those who just wanted a quick easy answer would not want to write an essay to get it.

Can this idea be developed or is it out of touch with 2010?

I think it sounds like you opted for the director of admissions....but in a good way. Many colleges require essays by students in order to assess their maturity and life experiences. I have read some amazing ones from my artists-friend's children who spent every summer with their parents in a primitive campsite at a fire tower station watching for fires. They had some great stories. Two such families had a group show in response to people asking them what did they do all the time up there. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen. So yes for the essay!!
Marcia





#23 GEP

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:52 AM

Chris,

I also like the essay idea. And I agree with previous posts that both the mentors and mentees should be assessed. So anyone interested in being a mentor should have to write a similar essay, describing their experience level, and any areas of specialty. Mentors should be asked to express why they want to do it, just to make sure they have done enough introspection too. Mentors can also use this written statement to clearly express their expectations for structure, such as space and time limits, or compensation.

Mea
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Good Elephant Pottery
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#24 Carolyn Dorr

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 10:49 AM

Everyone this is great feedback... We are working hard to develop a comprehensive mentoring program... so if you have any more input to give... NOW is the time as we hope to roll out this program in September...
Carolyn Dorr
Potters Council
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#25 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 07:29 PM

Everyone this is great feedback... We are working hard to develop a comprehensive mentoring program... so if you have any more input to give... NOW is the time as we hope to roll out this program in September...


Carolyn,
You are such a task master!!!
Marcia

#26 JBaymore

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 07:36 PM

And I agree with previous posts that both the mentors and mentees should be assessed.


And here is exactly where the quality of the whole program will reside. And here is exactly where a large, HUGE, MASSIVE amount of labor time needs to be applied to actually do this well. That also brings us to whom will be doing the reviews? The selection of those people ultimately will determine the quality of the review process.

And you still have not gotten anywhere near the actual mentoring end of things.

I think you are re-inventing a system that already exists......but trying to do it for free. That system is called college. Posted Image And despite all the bashing about post secondary education out there... there ARE good programs to be found.


best,

..................john
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#27 Chris Campbell

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:36 PM

Potters Council Members are here with full time jobs, families ... Obligations.
They can't take off for four years ... they have bills to pay.

We are trying to help them stay in the studio, stick with pottery ...
so they don't have to leave the field because it's too hard to go it alone.

No one would dispute that good Ceramics programs are the best option ...
We just want to try to provide another.

I hope that with all your experience, you will volunteer to mentor ... The potter who
gets matched with you would truly be very lucky!

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
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TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#28 bellonart

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:01 AM

What does mentoring mean to you?

What would you expect from a mentor?

If you were a mentor, what would be a reasonable commitment to one student?

Should it be one on one or is group mentoring better?

How would you assess the success of the process? How would you get out of it if it was not working out?

Would love to get lots of opinions.


I don't know what the actual definition of a mentor is, but my understanding of the word is that a mentor is someone who is responsible for the "passing down" of knowledge or experience. A true mentor should care about the development and success of their student(s). Being a mentor is a great responsibility because they are often seen as role models and students tend to shape their values and beliefs after the person who is mentoring them. I don't have an opinion about whether one on one mentoring is better than group mentoring, but I do think that it should be personalized for each student. Sometimes, certain students will respond better to a one on one environment, and a mentor should take time to figure out when this is the case. A good mentor will also recognize when their student(s) is not learning and may need a different approach. I feel that a bad mentor would pass a student along because they could not get through to them... But, perhaps this should be handled on a case-by-case basis, as not every situation is alike.

#29 CocoMasonDesigns

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 11:33 AM

I am very interested in this discussion because, well, I need a mentor! I spent four years in a college system and had a wonderful experienced potter as my mentor. He also happened to be my instructor. In exchange for his mentoring I would do various tasks in return, mixing and pugging clay, cleaning the studio, I changed out kiln elements, mixing glaze, loading and unloading student work. These tasks were his responsibility, however, I got the greatest benefit from the experience! It was more like an apprenticeship, the way pottery should be thought... old school.

Then I graduated and moved across the country.

I set up my home studio, mostly with his guidance, I did well for a few years. Then I stopped growing as an artist. I had no influx of new ideas, no one to discuss my latest test tile with (my husband just says oh, really, wow). So I stopped potting. For four years. This is so sad.

I need a mentor, and mostly a friend. Not someone to just solve problems with me, but to celebrate when I get it right. Potters are a community, I need some sort of community to grow and move as an artist. I am also terribly introverted!

On the flip... I have two kids and a full time job. I may try your technique and sell it!

Would you be my mentor?? lol.

Currently I have adopted two potters on youtube, who will remain nameless... There are some really great demonstrations out there.
I need glaze help the most... and a baby sitter (sorry wrong message board!)

From Winter Haven Florida
CocoMasonDesigns@cmdtees.com

Carey

#30 Chris Campbell

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 08:18 PM

Welcome and thanks for the post!

You might, or might not know that this is a young forum.
We want to be the place where you can safely ask questions and share work images
in an atmosphere of respect and helpfulness.

So, post your images, your results, your questions to the appropriate forum.
There is no problem with space here and your questions are just as valid as anyone else's.
Images make it so much easier to understand, so post them too!

If there is someone who can help, they will try ... Sometimes no one has your answer, but
that is good too. It means youn are pushing boundaries and maybe trying something new
to all.

We are actively working on putting au mentoring program in place ... Like a lot of other things it is easier
said than done. We are figuring out how to make it work for everyones benefit.

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://www.ccpottery.com/

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TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#31 Wendy Rosen

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:27 AM

When I mentor an artist about business, I always "get"
as much as I give. I really expect the session to turn into
a long term relationship of some kind... but few people actually
keep in touch. For the past twenty years I've offered mentoring
or consulting in several ways... on Facebook for free or
one hour for the price of lunch (anywhere but McDonalds)
I wish more artists who are well-established would do this
for emerging artists... there are few who won't (if asked).
Without mentoring, most artists who make the "leap" to
wholesaling (instead of a gradual, well thought out plan)
are doomed to fail.

We're in the process of restructuring our own service
fees... giving artists a show discount if they are graduates of
an arts business institute workshop or perhaps involved in
a mentor relationship with someone who can confirm that
they are ready to wholesale. Failure is just too expensive...
and the impact to the ego is difficult to overcome.

Knowledge + Good Work = Confidence.
Wendy Rosen
Cell: 410.262.2872

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