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Mentoring - Commentary
Sysliene T. -
12 / 29 / 2002

Regarding Mentoring

You are right in that one-on-one mentoring is a good idea. However, I feel that it has some drawbacks.

First, it seems to be more common to get the charismatic type of mentoring versus your type of mentoring. In other words there is no check on quality of teaching. If someone has a co-teacher or a faculty, you are more likely to have check and balances on the material. You are more likely to get more points of view of the same information. You are less likely to run into a "this is the one true way" mindset, because you have more then one person's perception of the information.

It worries me that mentoring could turn into a charismatic type of belief system. I have not seen many of these systems survive after the death of the leader; some have such as Christianity, and Scientology, and perhaps American Atheism.

I often felt that Paul Tuitean was afraid that his teachings would go that way after his death, and to a certain degree, I think that they have. But I also think that the heart of his teaching was to give his students the tools to find out what is true in their beliefs and to find out how to make it work. That a person should never stop questioning and searching for answers to questions that maybe we never even thought of asking when we first started out on this journey. His goal was to take people beyond Wicca 101; to do that you have to teach and convince people that it is all right to question and discuss. That more than one point of view is not only a good thing, but essential in the developement of a belief system that will survieve and thrive.

One-on-one mentoring, it seems to me, can lead people into the trap of "only one way." If one-on-one mentoring is to be done, then I believe that the following should be done:
  • The student be able to question the authority of the mentor. This means that they don't just accept what is told them, but also go out and find out on their own.
  • The mentor is a sign post, not just the way to destination.
  • The student has a bullshit detector.
This all assumes that the Mentor is a honorable person with ethics, but as we know this is not always the case.

I guess in my most perfect world, people would start with a group, with multiple teachers or resources, and then graduate to a mentor.

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