Mentoring Guidelines

Mentoring Guidelines

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 purpose.

Project-based approach works best

  • Design a project with specific goals, specific tasks, and specific outcomes

  • 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

  • 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 Mentor Program)

  • 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.
Have students sign Acceptable Use Policy contract
  • 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 on-line activity.

  • 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 the questions.

    • 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.

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