Mr Kemp NZ

1:1 Mentoring – from the student’s perspective

At the beginning of 2013, my school embarked on a powerful journey towards 1:1 student mentoring in our Middle School for students in Year 5-8. I blogged about this last March and gave details about our program. You can click here to read more about what we do.
Today I bring you Student Mentoring from the student’s perspective. Almost 2 years in, is it working? is it successful? Why? How? Here is our story, from the people that matter …. the students!
Through Social Media, people have asked me questions about our program. Before I share our student voice, I thought I would briefly answer these 2 FAQ:
  1. We do student mentoring too, how is yours different / better? Firstly, I don’t think it is necessarily better, but I firmly believe that what we do is powerful for student learning. It is different because every student in our Middle School has an individual mentor that they meet with weekly to discuss their goals, problems, things that have gone well and any other things they wish to speak about. Teachers involved in mentoring are given time off class to run these sessions, powerful to see the support from the school!
  2. How do you know it helps students learn? We are in the process of starting a research project. This project will record student attainment and achievement as part of the mentoring process and compare this to those not involved in 1:1 mentor sessions. This authentic learning opportunity will allow us to prove the success of our mentoring programme.

Here are the questions that we asked our students and some of their responses:

How do you find the mentoring process?

  • Mentoring is great because you can discuss what you need help with or what you are struggling on in class
  • I find mentoring helpful because my mentor listens to what I have to say. I think the mentoring schedules could be a bit more regular as it happens at different times every week
  • A fun and unique way to share your learning experience and goals for the year with your chosen teacher
  • The mentoring process is a really great way for the students to share with a teacher their goals and what they want to get better at. The mentors then help by suggesting and providing with the student ways to achieve their goals and keep their standards
  • Fun, enjoyable, safe and a great way to get support for areas I am finding difficult or challenging

What is great about it?

  • It allows students to connect with and tell their chosen teacher how they feel about school and friends
  • When we are stuck we have someone we trust and look up to to support us
  • Having a Mentor Teacher gives clear guidance for many things at school. I think that Mentor Teachers are great for looking out for students in many areas
  • One key strength is that each student has an allocated time with their mentor. This gives a better opportunity for students to discuss goals and bring up issues that need to be resolved
  • It’s a channel of communication to ensure that no student struggles silently at school
  • What is great about mentoring is that apart from your mentor being someone you can share goals with your mentor is also someone you can go to if you are having trouble in school or having friendship issues, the mentors help and provide support for you to get better, they are also great for a good chat

How has it helped you?

  • It has helped me become stronger on my goals and now I am ready to use those skills 
  • I am more confident thanks to my mentor
  • I believe in myself more
  • It has helped me accomplish goals and be up to date in subjects I struggle in like spelling
  • The mentoring program has helped me always have a positive attitude about achieving what I have set out to do and my mentor has always been helpful and supportive whenever I need help or get stuck along the way
  • It is helpful to have someone to talk to even when you don’t want to share it with people, you know you can trust your mentor

What makes it unique? Why?

  • I think is it unique because not many schools allow you to have 1 on 1 time between the students and the teachers  
  • It’s unique that everyone has different mentor teachers, and not just their class teacher
  • That we get time every week to discuss our goals, get support and be listened to. I have never had this in any other school
  • The teachers really value the mentoring and they actually want to meet with us to talk about our goals, strengths and problems

What would you like to see added to the mentoring program?

  • I would like to see more activities and spare time for us to practise our personal goals
  • I would like more activities to do with your mentor
  • I think the mentoring program is great as it is and I won’t want anything to change
  • I would like to see an online platform where we can keep an ongoing record of our discussions
  • It would be interesting to somehow include our parents in some discussions

As you can see from the valuable insight that is the Student Voice above. The mentoring program has been a success and we will continue to monitor and add value to it into the 2015 school year.

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Global EdTech Consultant based in Singapore but working with Schools and EdTech companies all over the world. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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