Almost all of us are habituated to celebrate the Teacher’s day throughout our childhood years, and beyond for those of us who continue to be associated with schools. However, often the significance of this day tends to get eroded in our hectic lifestyles, merely being isolated to a holiday and an existence which is revolving around a celebration in schools, or sometimes to other educational institutions as well.

Understanding the Role of a Mentor

On this occasion of World Teacher’s Day, it becomes necessary for us to recognize the role of not just a teacher but a mentor within our lives. The role of such a mentor is invaluable, not just as a source of guidance, but more so in the form of a support. A mentor is someone on whom we can fall back upon for advice, as well as someone whom we could look up to with respect, and might even become a source of motivation and inspiration for some of us.

Understanding the value of such a mentorship is especially significant in the Indian culture, where the traditional guru-shishya relationship has been cherished and valued over the years. Emanating from such deep-rooted traditions, we all should understand and seek the benefits of identifying such a mentoring figure in our lives.

Responsibility as a Mentor

As a mentor, one of the most vital responsibilities for us to be aware of is the tremendous influence which our own behaviour can have on others around us. It is important for us to recognize the significance of vicarious learning, in light of which it becomes necessary for us to exhibit the attitudes and behaviours that we would desire from others as well. In fact, the value of such observation is the maximum for younger minds which tend to be the most vulnerable. In addition, it is every mentor’s responsibility to have an empathetic and understanding approach, and be equipped and empowered with basic life skills which are necessary to be inculcated across all sections of the population.

Therefore, a mentor often becomes a role model, and consequently the responsibilities on the shoulders of a mentor are double-fold. We all need to recognize and remember this fact, and ensure that we act upon the values, virtues and learning that we would prescribe to others. And of course, needless to say, such a responsibility lies mostly on the shoulders of those who are in direct contact with children and adolescents. However, such mentoring needs to be encouraged not only within the field of education but in all spheres of life, as we all need a mentor who is approachable and an available support system in our lives, for any new experience or challenge brought to us by life.

Each Individual as a Mentor

Considering the needs of a mentor in all our lives, the scope of being a mentor is not restricted to teachers or parents. Instead, any one of use could assume such a role of being a mentor, be it in the form of a sibling, a friend, an elder, a professional, etc. A mentor is someone who can serve as a guiding path as well as a motivator based on his/her own

knowledge and expertise in life areas. Therefore, a mentor is not necessarily appointed by a formal system, but could also be self-appointed. Remember, each of us within our own roles could be a mentor, and therefore we need to remember our responsibility and mould our behaviours accordingly, while also remembering that each mentor could also have the need to be mentored!