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Re: NM process, AMs, advocates, mentors and applicants

On Tue, Nov 20, 2007 at 02:51:42PM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Hm, it didn't seem like a mentor role to me.  Being a mentor involves
> telling the mentee how to solve a problem and helping them work through
> the learning process.  

I would've said it involves helping them work through the process
repeatedly, until they don't need any help; possibly introducing new
difficulties at each cycle. A good mentor ought to be able to tell when
the mentee's reached the point that they no longer need any help.

I'd consider the release assistant stuff to follow that sort of structure,
personally; it definitely has an educational component as well as
practical work, and it also has the mentors evaluating the progress and
deciding at some point that they've reached the point where they can do
the work on their own.

> It felt more like a practical examination to me than a mentor
> relationship.

Which is fine too, of course; but it's the sort of thing that works well
for people who're already competent and confident in their abilities, and
really badly for people who're nervous or just don't know where to start.

Of course, if someone is already skilled, then it's better to just have
them demonstrate that than try to teach them things they already know,
in which case worrying too much about mentoring is a bad idea.


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