This section contains suggestions on how to set up a mentoring
program. The key to a successful mentoring project is teacher
involvement and structure.
Tips for Teachers
Structuring a successful mentoring project
If you are arranging the mentoring relationship through some of
the matchmaking agencies (e.g. through HP Mentoring Progam,
or Electronic Emissary
at the University of Texas at Austin) you will be offered their
guidelines some of which might appear repetitive. This page makes
an attempt to summarize essential points of these guidelines
Much of the success of mentor program is due to quality of the
relationship. Though mentoring shares many of the traits, and
can develop into friendship, its focus is often directed to a
particular skill to be learned, an issue to be examined, or some
other specific problem to be solved - some academic goal. Mentoring
describes a structured enduring relationship between and adult
and a young person, with the adult providing help, support and
guidance.The following are some areas the teachers need to address
in order to structure an inquiry-based learning experience for
children in the most productive way.
Relevance to the curriculum
Incorporate mentoring into your curriculum. Use your on-line time
productively - the interactions that are happening on-line have
to be deeply-rooted in your subject-area and supported by some
of the literature and traditional research of the
students. Avoid having just pen pal projects with no other curricular
Project-based approach works best
- Design a project with specific goals, specific tasks, and specific
- Set specific beginning and ending dates for your project and
a timeline for your project
See examples of Mentoring Projects
Stress working towards accomplished final product.
- It might help to have some culminating goal for the project -
a simulation, a written product, a presentation. Or you can have
your students collaborate on writing up a summary of the project,
describing it, what they did, what they learned and what changes
they would make in the project.
Work with your mentor to collaboratively coordinate activity
Have students sign Acceptable Use Policy contract
- There should be two conversations going - one between mentor and
the mentee about the topic of experience and another between the
teacher and mentor to collaboratively coordinate activity
- Have your mentor send automatically generated copies of the exchanges
with the student to the teacher or program coordinators
- Set clear expectations with your mentor (some of the examples
of responsibilities of the mentor could be found in HP E-mail
- Present your final findings to your mentor and have students send
him/her thank you notes
- Hopefully you will find some of these recommendations useful and
your mentoring program an enriching experience.
- A collection of AUP's.
Acceptable Use Policies have been generated by many educational
institutions, non-profit organizations, and other users of the Internet.
The list here represents those that are posted on the Internet for your
use in your place of work, education, or access to the Internet. They
provide the backbone of any good AUP you plan to incorporate. You are
encouraged to copy and modify those listed here for your own use. You
are asked to make your AUP known to the Webmaster at this site so your
AUP may may be posted for others to use and modify.
Remind your students not to give out personal information, such as:
phone number, address, age, etc.
Allow a lot of off-line supports and preparation for every
Preparation for the on-line interaction.
- Students brainstorm on questions to ask and topics to discuss
with their mentors.
- Every student sets an expectation as to what they want to learn
from this interaction and record that in their journal along with
- Students edit their own communication, including proofreading,
spell checking and, possible peer review.
Assignments to students while being on-line
- Encourage students to use proper grammar and careful spelling
in all messages
Follow-up activities after the on-line interaction
- Encourage students keep a journal where they would write down
their expectations, things that they have learned from the interactions
with their mentors and plan for their final outcome.
- Provide opportunities for students to share their mentoring experiences
with their peers and plan together.
Return to Mentor Page