Mentoring-Word-Cloud

It’s that time of year again! Our Year 6 students are wrapping up their PYP careers with The Exhibition (note the capital letters!!!).  They will be working between now and April 25th on an in-depth, personal inquiry into our central idea: “Inspiration, limitation, and reaction stimulate creativity.” The focus of the unit is on the creative process and how children access and make use of their creativity. Sir Ken Robinson has a fantastic video (we’re using it as our anchor) in which he discusses creativity. You should watch it.

More importantly, we need your help. A big part of The Exhibition is the role that mentors play in the process. As a mentor, you might…

  • Engage in coaching conversations with students to help guide their thinking
  • Act as a resource that students can access for advice and/or suggestions
  • Help students set and meet goals that will keep them on task and on track
  • Suggest resources that will help guide student inquiries
  • Edit and revise written materials
  • All sorts of other really cool stuff. (Really!)

We encourage our mentors to be actively engaged with students in a coaching and advisory capacity. As hard as it may be, it is not your job to suggest directions for student inquiries but rather to ask questions of the students that will allow them to discover directions for themselves. During the first three to four weeks of the unit, you may meet or interact with your advisees two or three times. How frequently you meet with them at the end of the unit will depend on how much assistance or guidance the students need. It is not a huge time commitment, and it’s a great way for you to see what students at the end of their PYP years are able to create.

If this sounds like something that you would be interested in, please access this Google Doc and enter your contact information. We will get back to you soon with more information.

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Questions you might ask:

Q–I’m not very creative. Does that matter?

A–Ok…Firstly, yes, you are! Everyone’s creative in his or her own way. So your question is moot! Secondly, if that didn’t convince you, the answer to your question is, “No, it doesn’t matter.” You’ll be talking with kids about what they’re working on and guiding them on their learning journey. Your perceptions of creativity won’t matter for that part of it.

Q–I love to draw/write/sing/act/paint/dance/do math/build/… Can I work with students in that area?

A–As we get further into The Exhibition, absolutely. For the first several weeks, we will focus on creativity in general and how people are creative. Later in the unit, we will need to have experts for students to contact and work with.

Q–Seriously, what sort of time commitment are we talking about?

A–It depends, but not much. You will need to answer the occasional e-mail. You will need to sit and chat with students for 5-10 minutes here and there. The time that you spend on your mentoring responsibilities is largely up to you. You may find (and I hope that you will) that you look forward to it. It can be a lot of fun.

 

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2013/06/18/seven-dos-and-donts-for-mentors/#fbb36ca322b6

http://www.expresspros.co.za/be-a-mentor-at-any-age/