The NEA Mentoring Program offers members the opportunity to participate in Mentoring Circles, which are small groups that typically consist of four to six mentees and two co-mentors. Diverging from the traditional one-on-one mentoring model, the circle model fosters not only mentoring relationships between the mentors and the mentees, but also peer mentoring relationships among the mentees and between the co-mentors.Mentoring Circles aim to:
A call for mentors and mentees is typically announced each fall on the NEA website and NEA-Discuss listserv. Mid-career and senior-level professionals are encouraged to participate as mentors; ideally, co-mentors will bring different levels of experience and perspectives to their circle. Please contact the Membership chair with questions or to express your interest in participating as a mentor or mentee. Mentors and mentees are matched to a circle depending on their interests, goals, and availability. The application process includes an initial survey that will help determine applicant's interests and support the initial matching.
Mentoring Circles meet for 1-2 hours once per month for the length of the program. Meetings can be in-person or virtual. Each Mentoring Circle's conversations will vary based on the group's dynamic, but the focus should be on career growth, facing challenges, and solving problems. All participants should be willing to give and get professional and personal support from the other members of the circle. The group provides accountability to each other and should be a confidential environment. Mentors will help guide and promote productive discussions in the circle to ensure all members of the group have an opportunity to participate. Mentees will come prepared to contribute as much as they hope to gain from the circles, with the understanding that mentoring is a self-directed process.
Additional information about the program, including more details about expectations for mentors and mentees, can be found in the NEA Mentoring Program Guidelines.Questions? Feedback? Don't hesitate to contact NEA's Mentoring Program Administrator, Jessica Holden.