How to Become an Effective Mentor

By Velious Darksbane, Deoch 17

Prelude - MY Experience...

" My first great experience in Temuair happened on a cool spring afternoon. *Smiles* I remember how dry the ground was that day, because at that time it was in the middle of a light yearly drought. The soil and grass crunched lightly under my feet as I shuffled to get my armor and shield into place, when a beautiful young wizard approached me, but didn't seem very talkative. I was in a good mood, so with my free hand, I took hers in a gentle handshake and introduced myself. From that moment on, it was like I'd known her all of my life. We could talk openly about everything and...well to make a short story shorter, I ended up becoming this young Aisling's Mentor. Since then, I have not felt a bond quite like it, and I hope that I can tell ye enough to get you started down the amazing road of mentorship... "

Part I - Choosing a Student

Where do I go to find a student? How to I teach him/her? What is the reason for doing so? Who CAN I mentor and teach? These questions are often asked by Aislings, as many hear of the amazing bond that is shared between a student and their mentor. The opportunity to pass on what one has learned has inspired many Aislings to teach as many as two or three hundred students in a life time. First, let's look at who you can and can't teach, and then ye will see who ye should and shouldn't mentor. About mentoring someone...I have found that is is perfectly acceptable to mentor anyone, including gender, and class. Ye can, and should, mentor an Aisling of a path that ye know allot about. If ye want to mentor a wizard, as I have, then do enough research to be helpful to the Aisling ye want to instruct. There technically isn't anyone ye can't mentor, but ye shouldn't mentor someone unless ye are very well prepared and committed to do so. ((I.E. - Know about the class of your student!))

Finding a student is often a daunting task within itself, but don't worry too much, as there are always Aislings, young and old, who would love to have a teacher, or at the very least, a friend that will help them find their way. Don't be rude by walking up to every Aisling you see and blurting out the question to mentor them, as you will most likely be hit swiftly in the gut. Instead, let's look at what to do right, and what to do wrong in such a situation. ((To restate our point on how bad getting hit can hurt. :P)) We will use Hyral and myself as examples, and I want to thank Hyral for letting me use him as an aid in my teachings.

The Wrong Way:

~ Hyral, a young peasant, is standing with a friend near the Temple of Choosing when Velious walks up and confronts him... ~

Hyral: "H-Hello, Sir."

Velious: "Hey there! Want me to mentor ye?!"

Hyral: "..."

The Right Way:

~ Hyral is again standing with a friend near the Temple of Choosing when Velious walks up... ~

Hyral: "H-Hello, Sir."

Velious: "Good day to ye, Hyral." *Smiles and waves*

Hyral: *Smiles* "Ah...I was wondering if you could help me..."

Ye have seen that in the first example, our peasant friend is not too happy that someone has stormed up to him and forced such a question upon a young Aisling. Note that this is inconsiderate of the young Aislings feelings, and it can make for a bad reputation with your peers.

Now, in the second example, Hyral was so glad to see a kind, well-spoken Aisling that HE actually made the first move and asked me to mentor him and show him around. Politeness and being responsive, while not overbearing, can not only get ye a student, but win ye a great many friends as well. People seem more at ease around an Aisling with a respective attitude, so don't be afraid to throw in a smile.

Part II - Now it Begins...

Great! Ye've got yourself a student! Now, what to do with the young Aisling under your wing? The first thing you would want to do is take him to one of the locations that allow ye to make your new bond official. Dar, Mileth's Wizard, or the Fae in Mileth will be more than happy to let ye use their scrolls and parchments to inscribe your names as Mentor and Student. ((Just walk up to the bookcase in either location to begin.)) There are bookcases like the ones in Mileth scattered throughout Temuair, so keep you eyes peeled for new places to make your teachings more convenient.

Part III - Giving Lessons

The first time ye mentor your student, ye will be told that ye must wait a double-moon until ye can pour your knowledge into your students mind. Don't worry about this, as the experience to do so is well worth the wait. ((Great rewards go to the Aislings that be patient. ;) )) Patients is a virtue, and will serve ye well in giving help to your student. Here are some things to remember...

1) As before, stay patient. Your student will ask allot of questions. *Smiles*

2) Do your best to answer his/her questions. If ye can't, don't be ashamed to ask for help yourself. Helping one another is what being an Aisling is all about, so your student might just see ye as an even bigger hero in their eyes.

3) Many times, an Aisling awakens poor, and improperly equipped. If this is the case, give your new friend some money and get them the things they need to begin helping themselves. Remember how hard it was for ye to start? It's the same for the young ones now too, and they deserve a chance to shine also.

4) By the meaning of the experience of mentorship, I mean the feeling that ye get when your student's eyes light up for the very first time, or when ye see their face brighten with newfound insight...that is the greatest reward of being someone's mentor, NOT receiving earthly objects or physical rewards. Enjoy and share your student's learning.

5) The last, and most important tip is to be MORE than a your students friend. Everyone needs someone to talk to, and laugh with, so make the bond ye share even stronger by making him/her proud to know ye. *Grins*

Part IV - Conclusion

Now ye can be the best mentor ye can be! Keep in mind that my lecture only serves as a guide, and the best thing that ye can teach a student ((and perhaps yourself)) is that we must listen to ideas, but we must also be strong enough to walk our own path. Improvise if ye need to, and never give up on your student.

~ Velious Darksbane
Deoch 17, Spring

This information was put on my paper thanks to FallingWater. I dedicate this work to ye, with all of my love. Thank ye for helping me learn about people. Thanks again to will always be my brother. *Smiles*