The Mentoring Process
What a semester it has been! I have been taking an EDTC class since September last year, and this will be my last blog post for an EDTC class. As much as I will not miss blogging, I did enjoy the classes. And this semester has been great, filled with teaching our own lesson and debates. As well as mentoring some EDTC 300 students. I am going to be honest, I did not keep a log of my interactions with my mentees. And I am confident that in class we were told it was alright, so I am not going to go through looking for my interactions and hope that we were actually told that and I am not going crazy (sorry). However, even without my log, I was surprised that although I interacted with my mentees, it was not as often as I thought it would be. At the beginning of the semester I introduced myself, told them that I took EDTC 300 last semester, and told them to let me know if they needed help. They all seemed friendly and thanked me, telling me they’d let me know if they needed me.
That was basically my main interaction with most of my mentees. I had to answer a couple questions over the semester, checking in again as well after halfway through. But I was quite upset when one of my mentees asked about a problem they were having with wordpress, and me using edusites, tried to find what it could be as I know they are similar, but in the end I could not help. After all this time waiting to help, I couldn’t but that is just how it goes sometimes. And although I may not have been able to help as much as I would have liked to, I was commenting on my mentees’ blogs. I thought it was better this way, when we had certain blogs to focus on, compared to commenting on whoever’s in EDTC 300. I enjoyed seeing my mentees’ learning project posts and seeing their progression. For example, Jesse Braden was one of my mentee, and his learning project was learning to paint. And it was cool to see the progression each week of his paintings, especially when they were all in the same post for his final post. I also enjoyed Payge Langmo’s blog posts about cooking. It was really cool to see the different dishes she’d make with all the steps laid out. Although some of my comments were not always helpful, I always tried to encourage my mentees and give them feedback when needed. I wanted them to be excited to do their learning project and excited to blog about it as well.
Going back to my struggle with helping my mentees, I feel like it is a good indication of what some teachers are going through now teaching online. Everyone is learning how to teach online now and I am sure most are struggling with the change. I would like to think that by the time I am able to teach, we will be back in classrooms, however that may not be the case. Mentoring this semester has shown me how hard communicating can be while teaching online. As well as how hard giving help can be, you can want to help but unless you are asked for help, there is not much you can do. It is not like you are in person and can see when someone is struggling.
Overall, I had a ton of fun in this class this semester. With two very difficult math classes, the ability to just chat with the class about whatever topic we were discussing that day was a welcome break. Sometimes I would just listen to what others had to say, interested to hear their thoughts. I am happy with the way everything went this semester and just wanted to say thanks Katia for two amazing classes!