Make time for academic mentoring

Covid 19  lock downs and social distancing have disrupted many aspects of higher education (HE). As a consequence, academics respond rapidly, making substantial changes to their practice. For some, these upheavals added to already high levels of occupational stress . Mentoring relationships can help.

Through mentoring, academics can proactively support themselves and each other. Our research shows that mentoring can:

* assist in building professional relationships and friendships

* contribute to a sense of personal satisfaction

* create opportunities for career and leadership development

* deepen understandings of teaching and research

* act as a vehicle for engaging in self-reflection to encourage the development of greater self-awareness.

Spectrum Academic Mentoring (SAM) is an evidence-based and sustainable approach to mentoring, specifically designed to meet the needs of academics working in HE. In a successful example of its application, Uni NSW implemented an institution wide academic mentoring scheme informed by SAM in 2018. Supported by a website and resources, participants report benefits including reciprocal learning between mentors and mentees, improvements to teaching practice, career development and enduring professional connections.

Are you interested in academic mentoring? Start by viewing some of the mentoring resources available and consider the following questions: What type of mentoring would suit you (one-on-one; group; peer or compound)? What skills or area of expertise would you like to focus on?

It is important to self-reflect before beginning any type mentoring relationship. But above all, you need to decide to make time for academic mentoring!

Dr Jayde Cahir, Project Officer, Learning Design, Macquarie University [email protected]

Dr Anna Rowe, Senior Lecturer, Academic Development, UNSW [email protected] @annarowe29

Dr Trudy Ambler, Honorary Member, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University [email protected] @TrudyAmbler3

Macquarie University and UNSW are members of  the Council of Australasian University Leaders in Learning and Teaching



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