The power of our mentors is not necessarily in the models of good teaching they gave us … Their power is in their capacity to awaken a truth within us, a truth we can reclaim years later by recalling their impact on our lives.
In workshops I often ask people to introduce themselves by talking about a teacher who made a difference in their lives. …
Then I ask the question that opens to the deeper purpose of this exercise: not “what made your mentor great?” but “What is it about you that allowed great mentoring to happen?”
Mentoring is a mutuality that requires more than meeting the right student. In this encounter, not only are the qualities of the mentor revealed, but the qualities of the student are drawn out in a way that is equally revealing.
Parker Palmer (1998) The Courage to Teach. p21.