You have put your finger right on the pulse of the situation! And your comment re: chemistry is absolutely true.
Over the years, like yourself, I have been mentored and have mentored others. Currently working with Vail Pilgrim, I find that often I am learning as much as he is! New perspectives, changes in focus, etc, all create a fantastic learning environment for both of us! The synergy of this process is an unbelievable high! Each afternoon, I'll ask him what happened that day. Our conversations may only last 10-15 minutes, but more often than not- they last the better part of an hour, usually ending with a new understanding of what might have seemed to be a very average, mundane issue.
But as you also suggested- there have been many "newbies" who I don't spend much time with. Very often at this beginning point in their careers, they don't understand or appreciate what a mentor could do for them. Or, as you suggested, they are listening to those instructors with the most time available. Unfortunately- this is also the group which seems to be the furthest off-base! Then I get frustrated with the task of clearing out the fog created by that group- intentional or not.
But I will also accept some responsibility for the situation-. I am often so busy, and therefore may seem unapproachable to the newbies. Not my intent, but I can certainly see where that impression might exist. But as my mentoring is done on MY time, not the company's, it is difficult for me to meet the demands that many would make on that time.
I have also found that different individuals want/ expect different outcomes. I am working with two pros just on tuning skis. So- anytime I am tuning (seems to be almost every day), they know that they are welcome to stay, watch, ask questions, practice, etc, to meet their goals. Others, when asking for assistance in preparing for an exam, only want me to train them for that specific task. Not the goal of becoming a better instructors. Those do not usually get much of my time. And the pro's who exhibit false sincerity or try to butter me up, are the first to get ignored.
Unfortunately, many of the pro's who would be credible mentors, have either been burnt out by the system or have elitist attitudes. Definitely a major roadblock to true transference of knowledge.
:[ January 04, 2003, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: vail snopro ]