mentees becoming peers

something i have just recently come to understand is that it is understood by some mentors that mentees can become peers.

i’ve known that mentoring is a really important thing for a while now, but i’m still learning about its intricacies. i know that it’s important for learning and also feeling like you belong to a community (have i written about that yet?). but i didn’t realize that sometimes, during the process of mentoring someone, their growth can put the mentee on the same level as the mentor. i think i had just assumed that those relationships were static… or at least the roles in them were. but in the last couple of months, i’ve heard from at least two people i consider mentors that sometimes mentees become peers and it’s a pretty awesome experience.

this seemed like news at first, but now that i’m thinking about it a little more intentionally, i have heard hints of this. i know there’s that one statement about how the student has become the teacher (which isn’t exactly the same process, but still indicates dynamic relationship roles). and i’ve also seen (and experienced myself) people have mentors who eventually become more like collaborators.

in some ways, i think that might be an ideal flow. i mean, if i think about myself: yes, i’m always learning, but the rate at which i can learn new things plateaus for sure. the younger i was, the more there was to learn and faster. that’s definitely slowed down (partly because the things i’m learning now are “bigger” than things i learned during my teenage years). i think it seems like a success if the people i’m mentoring also plateau because, if i’m doing it right, i’ll eventually run out of stuff to share and teach. i’ll have shared what i can and we’ll be co-discoverers in that plateau stage.

or something.

ps - i went back and skimmed the last post i’d written on mentoring and turns out i said in that post that the relationship between mentors and mentees can shift… i even said i’d probably write about those shifts in the future. it’s funny how much we know and then unknown and then know (learn) again later.

words / writing / post-processing
371w / 9:30min / 9:10min