Decoding Mentorship with Jerono Phylis Rotich

In Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle’s time, the concept of a mentor existed. Nowadays, getting a mentor is a significant piece of advice from globally successful businesspeople. This is because mentoring is essential for both personal growth and career situations.

When looking for a mentor, you might wonder: What exactly is a mentor?

A mentor is typically an experienced teacher who guides a protege toward a career or creative endeavor. The most important duty of a great mentor, and a great teacher mentor, is to establish a long-lasting professional connection that encourages ongoing support.

Such individuals are energetic, engaged, and imaginative teachers who encourage and push their students to reach their full potential. Dr. Rotich is one such illustration. Students and staff praised her commitment, passion, integrity, and genuine concern for children both within and beyond the classroom. She is dedicated to altering their lives through her teaching, student group leadership, community involvement, and mentoring. She hopes to create “change agents, critical thinkers, bridge builders, and global leaders in an interconnected world with modern technology.”

Dr. Rotich received her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, her Master of Science in Physical Education from the State University of New York at Brockport, and her Ph.D. in Exercise Science from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, North Carolina She has experience coaching and teaching at the college level and in high school. In addition, she has been a university professor in the United States for more than 20 years, progressing from assistant professor to full professor.

She also founded the WOYO (Women & Youth) Global Diversity Consulting. This organization focuses on mentoring and empowering women and youth, as well as the Kenya Students in Diaspora (KESID) Foundation, which focuses on mentoring overseas students. She presently holds the positions of Professor of Kinesiology and Associate Dean for Organizational Climate, Inclusion, and Belonging at the University of Indiana Bloomington’s School of Public Health. She held the positions of interim department chair and professor at NCA&T State University’s School of Education and department chair at North Carolina Central University. 

She has concluded that there are very few professions where an entry-level employee is expected to perform the same tasks as a 20-year veteran. Regardless of the class sizes and schedules, new teachers are typically required to attain the same quality for student learning outcomes and professional duties. She states that excellent mentors ensure that the tasks assigned to their proteges are reasonable and appropriate for their level of expertise. This could entail the mentor becoming involved when the mentee is overburdened, requesting additional resources, or providing support that helps the mentee tick things off their “to-do” list.

On the other hand, she believes that the cornerstone of mentoring has a good listening ear. Building a foundation of trust is necessary for effective listening so that the protégé feels secure in their vulnerability and sympathetic response. Members constantly communicate and share their teaching methods, reflecting and improving as they go. They also swap anecdotes and work out problems as a group. Through their community of practice, they develop a shared competency and maintain their enthusiasm for teaching. Numerous accolades and speaking engagements at the local, state, national, and worldwide levels have been bestowed upon her for her outstanding work in mentoring.

These are informal groups that participate in scheduled gatherings (i.e., do not confuse them with professional learning communities or team meetings). Communities of practice show how teachers have assisted and learned from one another for ages. The best mentors are supportive, understanding, and devoted to their mentees’ careers and personal success. When mentoring is successful, it benefits schools, instructors, and students. Being a mentor, it should be your goal to provide new instructors with continuing, specialized support to secure both their professional success and the success of their students!

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