Teaching and mentoring go hand in hand as teaching a student involves more than just explaining lessons. Teachers take up challenges of shaping a student’s mindset and hence this entails great responsibility. One may ask how teaching extends to shaping a student’s future in all respects as a teacher’s duty ends in a classroom. It may be tempting to think that a teacher’s duty ends within the four walls of the classroom but it is mistaken indeed. A teacher interacts with the student in the teaching process and this means that he/she gets to know different views and perspectives on a topic. These perspectives and views are the result of not only thinking about lessons but also experiences at a very young age. A teacher needs to know how to guide students in carving their perspectives. How to form an opinion and view without bias is a challenging process which a successful teacher should be able to manage.

Many Teachers may find this process difficult as they cannot exactly tell the outcome of a class. The outcome of a class is nothing but a learning experience that goes beyond the lessons needed to be taught. Tutors on the other hand can give individual attention and the task becomes easier but it remains not a cake walk. Tutoring a learner means sharing a space of minds. In this space there is mutually taking away from a combined experience. While discussing lessons learning is enabled opening up the mind. This shared experience is what teaches not only the student but also the tutor. A tutor therefore needs to also be a mentor. Mentoring is different from teaching as it is less instructive and more of a guidance. Guiding cannot be done from a pedestal. It is about showing the way in an unknown place thus bringing about familiarity in the traveller. In this case the traveller is the learner.

Tutoring combines guidance and teaching where mentoring is a part of the process of shared experience. The unknown is made familiar to the learner. This helps in creating a bond with the learning thereby making the subject captivating. Mathematics or any subject for that matter becomes a source of everlasting interest for the students. An online tutor can learn the art of mentoring but the learning takes place more in practical interactions with a learner. It is not just theory but also practice that makes a tutor a successful mentor.

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