Mentors, trailblazers in the reform of finnish vocational education

Reform in Finnish vocational education is inviting teachers in Finland to a change. As we have mentioned earlier in Icebath people with growth mindset find success in learning and improving. The more they can do that the more rewarding the change will be for them and people around them. People with growth mindsets will lead Finnish vocational education trough the reform that it´s about to go trough. People with growth mindset can be the mentors for people who are afraid or other ways refuses the change.

Mentoring relationship can provide important experiential and collaborative learning opportunities that support the development of a learning organization. Helping others to do better, to find out the best of each other is a key for a change in Finnish vocational education. This can be done trough mentoring. We need people who believe in change, who believe in reform. We need people who want to learn out of the process and become better, stronger and cleaver after it. We need mentors who are willing to be first movers.

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Mentoring should be a reciprocal and collaborative learning relationship that can lead people to career success, personal growth, leadership development, and increased productivity (Darwin, 2000). With successful mentoring people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire. During the reform we need mentors who invite teachers to expand their patterns of thinking. Good mentors can create atmosphere where  collective aspiration  has been set free and people are keen to learn from each other.

Mentoring functions in a learning organization include role modeling, exposure and visibility, protection, acceptance and affirmation, teaching, counseling, and friendship (Allen & Eby, 2007). Such mentoring provides numerous benefits to mentors, mentees, to the organizations and entire vocational education in Finland.

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Good, respectful relationship between mentor and mentee can engage teachers during the reform  in to expand their thinking, to increase knowledge what they might be lacking of and to find out the  best out of everyone. Mentoring partnerships are based on  reflection and rational discourse. Reflection that will be given needs to be gentle, kind and constructive. To be able to build an atmosphere of learning there must be absolute trust in workers. The teachers needs to have ownership on their knowledge and skills, they must have will power and believe in them selves and optimistic thinking wont do any harm!

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Trough good mentoring can good learning organization be created.
Good mentoring creates  teachers  who: are willing to apply new knowledge in daily tasks; individually and collaboratively analyzes problems and proposes solutions; evaluates new technologies or strategies and determinate their utility; create new  plans to improve the organization performance. (Carolyn M. Klinge, 2015.) That kind of teachers we need in the future, and hopefully we will have some already in January 2018!

Written by Annele Heikkilä

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