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Developing a Mentor/Mentee Relationship

by Jamie Bonczyk and Mary Wonderlick
January/February 2016
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/developing-a-mentor-mentee-relationship/5022723/


My friend Danielle once told me, “To have longevity in the Early Childhood field, you need to teach from your overflow.” When I booked my first professional development trip to NAEYC I was running on fumes. The year before I had packed up my worldly belongings and moved to Chicago from Minneapolis to attend graduate school. Not only was I attending classes full-time in the evening, I was also teaching in a new city with a particularly challenging set of circumstances. Nine of the 20 ­children I was working with were receiving services either from the school district, a private therapist, or a mental health consultant. I was struggling to balance my life and I was contemplating leaving the field. I was hoping the conference would inspire me, help me remember my truth, and charge my battery. Lucky for me, Mary was there and, in time, she would help me do all those things for myself. 


When I began teaching, I was met with indifference and ignored by the very people I’d assumed would be my colleagues and mentors. That was just so hurtful. I’d spent my life wishing to be a teacher; I’d had such excellent teachers for much of my ...

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