NASJE Mentor Program needs volunteers

By Lee Ann Barnhardt, Co-Chair Membership and Mentor Committee

The Membership and Mentor Committee is looking for individuals to serve as mentors for new members.

The origins of mentoring can be traced back to ancient Greek mythology. When Odysseus went to fight in the Trojan War, he put his trusted friend, Mentor, in charge of his son, Telemachus. Ever since, the term ‘mentor’ has generally come to define someone with more experience, imparting their wisdom and values on someone with less experience.

You don’t need to be a Greek warrior to be a NASJE mentor, but you do need to be willing to share your passion for judicial branch education with others. The time commitment for a mentor/mentee relationship is typically 6-12 months, but the way that time is structured is flexible to fit individual needs and schedules.

If you mentor people in NASJE, you learn things about how things work at different levels and in different places. You learn things that make you a better educator and leader. You build your network. When you share your knowledge and experiences you can change the world for that person.

Mentoring is about teaching. When you teach something to another person, you discover all of the details that you don’t completely understand yourself. That means mentors make themselves smarter in the process of teaching others.

Mentoring is also about relationships among colleagues.  When you mentor, it also increases your feeling of connection to your colleagues and to our organization. And, if you and your mentee continue working in the same field, you gain a valuable ally and sounding board for years to come.

I have had the honor of being mentored by some of NASJE’s best and also serving as a member. Below are my “Top 10 Reasons” to be a NASJE Mentor.

  1. You wouldn’t be where you are today it if wasn’t for mentors in your own life.
  2. You meet new people.
  3. You have a positive effect on the organization.
  4. You can change the world for someone.
  5. You learn stuff.
  6. You feel like you did something that matters.
  7. You are motivated to do your own job better.
  8. You build long lasting relationships within other educators.
  9. You can redefine your own career path and goals.
  10. You have the chance to share your passion with others.

Mentoring also serves the organization. The benefits to NASJE are member retention, increased engagement by members, professional development of members, the transfer of knowledge and skills, and the development of future leaders.

Remember how confused and stressed out YOU were when you started your new job in judicial branch education?  By acting as a mentor, you can help make the transition easier on someone else.

The time, the commitment, and the dedication that is involved in mentoring does not go unnoticed. If you are a NASJE mentor now or have been in the past, thank you! If you know a mentor, ask them about their mentoring commitment. You may be surprised at what they have to say about the process.

If you are interested in serving as a mentor or learning more about the program, NASJE needs you. Please contact Lee Ann Barnhardt, Co-Chair of the Membership and Mentor Committee, at lbarnhardt@ndcourts.gov.