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Matthew Kwan, Principal Consultant of Adams Company Limited (www.adamshk.com) presented this to 80 Accounting Teachers and Professionals of Hong Kong Accredited Accounting Technicans (HKIAAT) at their annual conference.
The original speech script is as follow:
Mentorship Skills for teachers
Good afternoon, President, Vice President and teachers of HKIAAT. First of all, I am so glad to be invited to share a topic dear to my heart.
Mentorship is not only a skill but an attitude. How many of you are really really treating your opportunity to interact with your students as Mentoring opportunity.
The Chinese saying “Teacher and Learner both learn” (教學雙長), it means a lot especially when we are talking about adult education. I am sure most of your students are adults and adult education is a lot more than learning. It is about RELATIONSHIP as well as exchange of thoughts, experience and collaborating in a way.
However, building up a relationship is not as easy as it might be. It is about trust; a trusting relationship is based on truthfulness. How much are you prepared to share with your students. Accounting is a very technical subject, it requires both knowledge and skills and only practice will make perfect. To make the learning experience exciting the only way is to share our real life experiences. The more we can relate to what they are learning to the real world, the more they would appreciate what they are learning. It is our job to share the reality, to show them the possible future.
I am very fortunate to have a lot of teaching and speaking opportunities. I enjoy interacting with my students. I always give out my email address and phone number to my students and audiences. Now we are talking also about social media, facebook, twitter and etc. The real challenge is when you have to respond to a lot of requests, questions and emails from your students. So, end of the day, it is an exercise of expectation setting. Hence, letting your students know and how soon will you respond is very important?? End of day, any human communication is based on RESPONSIVENESS!
A true Mentor is not just about being friendly but also about ACCOUNTABILITY! It is exactly like a football coach who does not play during any game but he is fully accountable for the whole team’s success or failure. A true Mentor is those who are willing to bet on his personal fate on the players who play the game. Are you willing to recommend someone green to do important tasks for the sake of his/her learning? Are prepared to take and be accountable for whatever the kind of outcomes? A good coach is whom not only giving the opportunity to the player, encourage them throughout the process and take all responsibility of the results.
Chinese are not good particular teachers as we may believe the students may one day pass over our own place (教識徒弟無師傅)! Howver, I truly believe that if we have a vision to see something great to come, we have to empower many people. John Donne, an English peot once said, “No man is an Island”. God created us to live in teams and groups and families. No one can achieve great thing by himself, we have to collaboratively to achieve greater results. Only true Mentors can appreciate the greatness behind EMPOWERMENT.