Mentors Wanted

Mentors come in all shapes and sizes and at different times in our careers, helping us to navigate the Jona Squires Featureeducational trail. My parents were my first mentors. They were both CTE teachers and they encouraged those beginning steps of getting an education degree and a job. Some of the mentors I had in high school serve as mentors today.

Little do we know how important these individuals can be and how they enable us to do our jobs better, helping us to know when to hold on, when to let go and take on a new opportunity, and how to balance family and work commitments. Mentors are hands-on trainers, and they continue to guide us as long as we ask for advice and seek them out.

Mentors can be those who hire us or who coach us. They challenge and push us, and they are behind us because they selected us to be on their team. They help us find our passions, tune up our skills and give us the opportunity to spread our wings and fly, even if it means leaving them.

Mentoring can occur with peers. In this dynamic, you work cooperatively on projects and you share resources and opportunities, just as if you’re working on a team. These individuals can become your daily inspiration or quick pick me up.

With today’s challenges in education, we all need mentors. My challenge to you is to become a mentor, to seek out those relationships where you can help someone else navigate the educational trail. I owe a lot to Brady McCullough, Dusty Ricks, Doug Major, Larry Liston, Teena Nations and Shirley Stephens for their mentoring, and I thank them for their help and guidance.

Written by Jona Squires, the 2015 Region IV Fellow.