Two of SAFE’s earliest endeavors were its resource center and mentoring program. Both were recommendations resulting from the organization’s first membership survey. Both rely on your involvement and are a form of giving back to aviation education.
The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines mentor: 1. someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person 2. a trusted counselor or guide. From the Greek, for enduring; Mentor, a character in Homer’s Odyssey, provided wisdom and knowledge to Telemachus, the son of his friend Odysseus. Mentoring is often a relationship where information and guidance is provided over the long term.
We have all been mentors at one time or another. How many of us have listened while a friend shared a problem, been a resource or answered a question? Mentoring is taking our teacher/instructor role to the next level. SAFE’s mentoring program provides a structure, a process if you will, for the matching of mentees and mentors.
SAFE members participating in the mentoring program may be either a mentee and receive guidance, or a mentor by making themselves available to mentees. Regardless of their respective role, each will be better for the experience. Visit the SAFE webpage at www.safepilots.org. Click open the Programs tab and you will find the Aviation Educator Mentoring Program at the top of the list. Click the link and discover more about our mentoring program.
Mentoring is an integral part of SAFE’s mission. Mentoring will lead us to better, more efficient aviation education at all levels. It will result in a safer aviation environment. We all benefit from a successful mentoring program.
Wharton School management professor Katherine Klein says what mentees look for in a relationship with a mentor is “having a sounding board and a place where it’s safe to be vulnerable and get career advice. It’s a relationship where one can let one’s guard down, a place where one can get honest feedback, and a place, ideally, where one can get psychological and social support in handling stressful situations.”
And what do mentors derive from the relationship? “You get the satisfaction of seeing somebody develop. And don’t forget that mentees may be in a position to help the mentor at some point. Mentees may also make the mentor look good. There’s no question that Tiger Woods made his father look good,” says Klein, referring to Earl Woods, who taught the golf champion how to play the game at an early age and served as his coach into adulthood.
John C. Crosby, a mid-nineteenth century politician from Massachusetts, described mentoring as “a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” You may be a mentor candidate if you can lend an ear, have a brain cell or two to share or can provide a gentle push in the correct direction. If you have those qualities, we want to talk with you. Call or email our mentor program representatives. Their contact information is at the bottom of the mentoring webpage.
-by John Dorcey