New Mentoring Connections

Last fall, we were involved in a mentoring project with preservice teachers in Dean Shareski's class at the University of Regina , in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. So, we were very excited to be able to participate again this term.

This time, Dean has teamed up with Alec Courosa to have even more college students mentoring classes across the country. The way it works is that Dean and Alec's students choose from a list of teachers/classrooms which blogs they would like to follow and mentor. The last time we participated, the college students left comments, exchanged emails with the teacher and posted a video online teaching the class about themselves.

Since most of our teachers only began blogging this year, the first mentorship project was a window into possibilities. Instead of just wondering how they could encourage parents to comment on the class blog, they became interested in what our global visitors might have to say about the work going on in their classroom. Watching clustermap hits was a much more personal experience and the students became much more interested in "who" was making the comments when they saw comments approved on a post. They enjoyed getting to respond to comments if it was needed.

We're so excited to be involved in this project again that we wanted to kick it up a notch by starting off with an introduction video from the three classes involved, Jessica Lipsky's 5th Grade, Cathy Daniels & Randi Timmons 1st Grade and Debby Cothern & Michelle Ellis' K class. Last time, the kids enjoyed getting to actually "see" video clips of their mentor, so we recorded a few quick things to introduce ourselves to the mentor. I hope it will help make the personal connections click with the college students. Give them a quick view of the little faces behind the blog and what they are hoping to get out of this experience. Here are the videos:

Kindergarten Mentor Video from Melanie Holtsman on Vimeo.

First Grade Mentor Video from Melanie Holtsman on Vimeo.

I can't wait to see what this term's project brings!