Our approach to mentoring has very much been influenced by our colleagues at Zemos98. Their approach to learning is based on the four following tenets:
- trusting peer to peer knowledge,
- accepting diversity as an intellectual basis for our work together,
- connecting practices and experiences for the common good, and
- using not just oral but also visual languages.
In Guerrilla Translation we follow suit. Wikis such as this are only a first step in what we consider to be a non-directive mutual space for learning. Texts can become meaningless without real human support to bring the ideas described here to live and in situated contexts. Videos, infographics and other media will help us learn and refine the message, but the most important work acquires meaning through our relationships.
If knowledge is power, then we want to share that power we've accumulated with new members so they feel a similar sense of ownership and familiarity as soon as it's feasible. We consider the learning to be mutual, bidirectional and based on personal relations and needs. When we speak about creating a knowledge commons in GT, we're not just talking about the articles we publish in our blogs, but to the culture, practices and structures of the collective itself. As part of the community we first want you:
a) understand where we're coming from and why we've made these choices
b) add your voice to the choir and enrich our commons
Practically speaking, in GT the more experienced translators mentor new translators in the productive activities of the collective. Beyond the Open Coop's chosen craft, all members mentor each other in cooperative culture, specifically the tools and practices of the Open Coop in question. Mentoring is always bi-directional (both ways), peer to peer, and available to any committed member. The outputs of the mentoring process are recorded as part of our knowledge commons and openly shared through resources such as this handbook or our wiki. While mentoring is an ongoing process, special attention is paid to those members going through the Dating Phase. In fact, the Dating Phase entry goes into detail into what you will be expected to learn — and what we will be expected to mentor and support you on.
During the Dating Phase, mentoring is handled by your GT Buddy. GT Buddies take Transition Translators through all aspects of working on the collective, the tools, our governance model, etc. They ensure that new members get all they need to meet a series of criteria on the way to becoming full, committed Guerrilla Translators. After the Dating Phase is over you will not have an exclusively GT Buddy assigned, instead you will become a new Dating Member's GT Buddy.
Full members will still receive assistance, of course, but it's now seen as a collective responsibility, rather than an individual one. Anyone needing mentoring support after the Dating Phase is encouraged to use the "Ask us Anything" Slack channel and Loomio thread, as well as the dedicated Slack channels or Loomio threads for specific topics.
We don't expect everyone to know everything all the time, but Guerrilla Translators are expected to be able to mentor new members and each other in several areas and new members are expected to be open and available for this process.
See also: Inviting and onboarding new members