Mentoring Partnerships

Developing good relationships can be professionally and personally rewarding. Networking with and mentoring other academic staff can lead to new research and teaching interests and improve quality of life for all participants.

Qualities

The following qualities are found in good mentoring relationships:

QualityDescription
ActiveYou actively seek each other out for support, conversation and advice.
AccessibleThrough regular meetings, emails and calls.
ResponsiveYou take care to listen actively and non-judgmentally, offer suggestions and advice.
EncouragingYou give constructive and positive feedback.
SupportiveYou advocate for one another, and in particular, for newer academic staff.

 

Activities

The following activities can be beneficial for both you and new academic staff:

ActivityDescription
Regular meetingsInitiate regular meetings and make frequent contact, especially in the beginning. It may be difficult for a new academic to ask questions or approach their colleagues with problems, so be proactive and see if they have any queries. You may not have all the answers, but you can be a valuable resource and direct them to the appropriate place for help.
Inside adviceOffer your new colleagues information about the campus, faculty or profession. What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career? Take a walk around the campus or meet at different locations. If you’ve learned an interesting fact about the University of Newcastle, share it. Tell stories about your first year teaching here. Make a point of introducing your new colleague to as many people as possible whenever it is appropriate.
Talk about teachingDiscuss the preparation of lectures and teaching materials. You might offer to have your new colleague observe your classes. Offer to sit in on their teaching and provide constructive feedback. Discuss, and if relevant, share your teaching materials. Talk about how you construct assessment tasks and exam questions and ways to fairly assess students’ work.
Workload balanceShare your experience of managing time, handling stress and balancing workloads effectively. Advise on relevant administrative duties and other work. Discuss student issues, such as managing large undergraduate courses, supervising RHD students, academic integrity and research priorities.
GoalsInitiate a discussion about the steps in preparing for performance reviews, promotion and career advancement. Help set a plan of short and long-term goals.