Difference Between Mentor and Teacher

Mentor vs Teacher

The key difference between the two roles, mentor and teacher, stems from the focus of the individual roles. When it comes to education, knowledge, and guidance, we rely on a number of individuals such as teachers, mentors, educators, coaches, and tutors. Each of these individuals play a unique role in the life of the student. First let us define these two words mentor and teacher. A teacher is an individual who is engaged in imparting knowledge to the students. A mentor, however, is a bit different from a teacher. A mentor is an experienced person who acts as an advisor to another individual. Through this article let us examine the differences that can be identified between a mentor and a teacher.

Who is a Teacher?

A teacher can be identified as an individual who imparts knowledge and information to the students. Teachers instruct the students and explain so that the students can grasp new knowledge. Teachers can be seen mostly in formal educational settings such as schools and educational institutes. A teacher is often believed as someone who has an excellent academic knowledge that allows him / her to instruct the students in a very effective manner.

However, educational sociologists believe that this is only the traditional role of a teacher, and it should expand further. This expansion involves character building of students where the teacher is not confined to imparting knowledge but also molding the students into being good citizens.

Difference Between Mentor and Teacher

Who is a Mentor?

Unlike a teacher whose primary function is to impart knowledge to the students, mentors act as advisors. A person who is being mentored by an experienced individual is known as a mentee. A mentor usually is much more experienced than a mentee and uses his knowledge to guide the mentee. In industrial settings, mentors are appointed to overlook the work of new employees. These mentors not only guide the employees, but advise them on the possible issues that might arise within the work environment and how to handle difficult situations.

Unlike in the case of a teacher, a mentor does not assess the academic knowledge of the individual through a series of test. He also does not use methods of instruction and explanation to teach the individual. The primary focus of a mentor is to build the capabilities of the mentee through guidance. A mentor shares his wide range of experiences with the mentee and allows him to grow and develop. A mentor does not instruct the mentee but enables the individual to find his path.

 Mentor vs Teacher

What is the difference between Mentor and Teacher?

• Definitions of Mentor and Teacher:

• A teacher is an individual who is engaged in imparting knowledge to the students.

• A mentor is an experienced person who acts as an advisor to another individual.

• Main Role:

• The main role of a teacher is to impart knowledge through instruction.

• However, the main role of a mentor is guidance.

• Setting:

• Teachers can be seen in formal educational settings such as schools.

• Mentors can be seen in industrial settings. In some instances, mentors can be seen even within the family environment.

• Influence:

• A teacher develops the academic knowledge of the student.

• A mentor develops the professional capacities of the mentee.

• Method of Teaching:

• A teacher instructs.

• A mentor advises and allows the mentee to find his path.

• Knowledge and Experience:

• A teacher has a profound academic knowledge.

• A mentor has years of experience in the field, which he uses to guide the individual.

Images Courtesy:

  1. Teacher by Rex Pe (CC BY 2.0)
  2. Telemachus and Mentor in the Odyssey via Wikicommons (Public Domain)