The Value of Having a Mentor

Twenty one years ago, I walked into a classroom for the first time. I was the mother of two children. How hard could teaching 20 children be? I had already spent ten years as a succesful journalist. Teaching was a second career. I wasn’t young, but to the students I was fresh meat. My students seemed determined to make me leave the field of teaching by the end of the first year, atleast that is what I thought as I cried to my husband each and every night. Why had I decided to be a teacher? Why couldn’t I impart all of my knowledge and passion to eager minds? What made my first year so horrible was that I didn’t have a mentor. If someone had just guided me a bit, helped me through the myriad of issues that teaching entails, that would have made a difference. I currently mentor new teachers now in a program at Florida Gulf Coast University. I am determined to help them avoid a few of the pitfalls that I fell in, such as starting off too leniantly. You can always get nicer, you can’t get stricter. So what does this have to do with beading? This summer, I have discovered the wonderful world of beading bloggers, thanks to Lori Anderson and the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Through this event, I have found mentors… wonderful jewelry designers who are lightyears ahead of me and are willing to guide me through some of the obstacles that they successfully overcome. So check out my mentor’s etsy stores and blogs. Support their beading or jewelry businesses, including Lori Anderson, whose blog is mentioned above. Charlene from the Bead Dreamer is helping me with my blog and with ideas on how to improve my etsy shop. Check out her shop at Christina Miles who gave me tips on photography and Marsha Neal, who inspired me by teaching about the Etsy Treasury (a wonderful marketing tool that I will try as soon as I revamp my Etsy store. There are others too. Thanks to all you Bead Mentors for paying forward and inspiring me to do the same.



  1. Andrea, that is a great post! Everyone needs help. Everyone needs a mentor.

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