For my mentorship, as I have previously posted, I have been working with George Mayo. Our first contact looked like this (this is his first email to me):
Nice to meet you. Really looking forward to having a mentor or two for my 7th grade Reading class. Here's the link to my teacher webpage and our class blogging page where all the student's blogs are located.
After a few more emails back and forth we arranged to skype on the occasion just to get a general idea of what we both wanted to come from the experience for his students. Mr. Mayo finally arranged for the beginning of the experience to start. This was the initiating email I received to start off the new experience:
So I added you to the blogroll on our class blog homepage. Cindy, Johana, and Rocio are the students you are mentoring. Rocio left you a comment today on your blog during class. Maybe our next step could be you stopping by their blogs and dropping them comments. When we are in the computer lab this Wed they will see your comments and approve them to be published. That would be very exciting for them to get a comment from you on their blogs! Here is the link to our class blog where you can access Cindy, Johanna, and Rocio's blogs in the sidebar. Your blog is there as well.
As the weeks passed, the blog i created for those 3 students developed. This blog was called: Mentorship09
Although the posts and responses are few, I believe each of the students received valuable lessons from the experience. One student, Johanna, loves to read! Each of her posts to me were about the books she was reading and how they made her think. On the occasion she would ask me questions based on what I thought. I also suggested my favourite books to her and why. This was important for her because as she explained it to me, "reading was her way of escaping the real world." This really got me thinking about my life. Taking a closer look into my life, I realized that I do not take enough time to value reading. Language is fascinating!!
As my semester came close to an end, my mentorship students were unable to respond and leave me messages as often. We all seemed to get really busy and the mentorship experience kind of faded off. I am sad to say that I have not heard from these students in a couple weeks. Overall, I believe this experience has been extremely beneficial to me as a teacher. It is important to consider that all students are uniquely different. They each have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. As I read their posts, I could really see that they were still learning the basic concepts of english sentence structure. At the beginning, when i read the posts, my attention went immediately to the mistakes they had made in their writing. After a while i began to look behind the mistakes and actually read the words these students were saying. Sometimes, as a teacher we must learn to look past a students weakness and find the strengths within the student instead. If we only focus on a students strength, the student will only feel negative feedback. If we acknowledge the strengths a student will become confident in their daily work, and inspire them to continue their hardwork into the things they seem to struggle with.
I have definitly benefited from this experience, even if it did not carry on for very long. I answered all of their questions, and even gave them a bit of insight onto how my life as a student has inspired me to become a teacher.
Johanna discussed a book that she was reading, and asked me that if I had the power to know things before they happened, would I use this when doing homework or writing tests. I think I gave valuable advice to her: "To answer your question about the character in your novel, I think that if you were to have such powers as those, their would be pros and cons to the power. It would be great to know things right at the beginning. As a student I know we all wish sometimes we had the answers to the tests. But, the negative thing about it would be that she would never be able to socialize and find stuff out on her own. Getting to know someone is sometimes the best part in creating a great friendship or relationship with someone. If you always had the answers to tests or assignments then eventually you wouldn’t learn anything. Experience is important to an individuals growth, and learning is part of it. If you never failed or did poorly at something, you would never know the feelings of accomplishment or satisfaction in accomplishing a personal goal. Just think about it, how awesome do you feel when you know you worked hard and got an A an assignment or test?? That feeling should tell you that it is important to not know all the answers all the time."
That response I wrote, proves the experience I recieved from this experience. Before this experience, I would have said yes to wanting that power and to always know what will happen next. I have grown significantly over the past year, and I am very happy to have gotten the chance to work with Mr. Mayo's class:)