This semester I had the opportunity to take on a mentorship role in EDTC400! This was an amazing experience where I have not only been able to help my mentees but have also learned from them as well. I had the privilege to work alongside Brooklyn, Heather, and Kaitlyn! These three amazing individuals were registered in EDTC300 this semester and all did an amazing job with their blog posts, contributions on Twitter, and communicating through the slack group! When I was first introduced to the mentoring processes I felt a little uncomfortable as I was taking a 400 level class and more than likely most of the EDTC300 class would be further in the program then I was! However, after communicating back and forth with all of my mentees my discomfort and fear slowly went away. I learned to embrace this experience from learning from one another instead of only waiting for them to ask me questions! I used this experience to further my understanding of tech topics through making quick how-to videos, finding videos to help explain a process as well as giving my mentees my perspectives and challenges that I faced throughout my EDTC300 class!
Through this mentorship, I did sometimes find some places where I was challenged! I sometimes had trouble relying on other people posting their work, because that is where I often would communicate! If they did not have posts for that week or were maybe busy with other classes I found it very hard to keep up with my own contributions to their learning! With that, I ensured that I tried to stay connected with all of their blog posts! To help keep up with Twitter (as I did fall behind on this platform mid-semester) I put notifications on my phone to see their latest tweets! This was a great reminder to go and look at what they had to say as well as supply my own thoughts to the topics they were discussing! From this, I have learned different ways to keep myself on track such as putting reminders and notifications on my phone! This will help me into my teaching career when I need reminders to check emails, my daily to-do-lists, etc. I have gained many insights when it comes to teaching an online class! Through this process, I have come to realize that it is easy to get behind with your work, and with that, you need to ensure you give the students guidance and reassurance to try and keep them on track with their work! I also learned that I need to understand that through online classes it is important to give your students space and allow them to be responsible for their own learning! Through online courses, students will be able to have agency and choice with their own learning! This helped me form my teaching philosophy, from this experience I have learned that I can support my students and give them suggestions to support their learning, but I should not tell them what they should, and should not do when it comes to their projects and how they want to represent their learning. It is important to give tips and tricks, and guidelines to help enhance the students learning but I still need to allow them a say in their education experience! I learned that I am never going to have all of the answers, and with that, it is important to reach out to other educators when your students, or in this case your mentees need support! Overall, I have learned it is important to be there and let them know you are there for support but do not bombard them with suggestions and what they should be doing! We all learn differently and with that need to embrace these differences and allow the students to learn in a way that benefits them as a whole!
Not only did I learn many valuable lessons that I will consider and incorporate into my future classroom I have also gained both new cooking recipes and relaxing yoga moves from their learning projects! These are two areas I would love to explore more (as I don’t really know how to cook and need to take some more me time)! This has been a great experience learning and supporting my classmates! I have enjoyed watching their growth throughout their learning projects and seeing them become more comfortable with using different resources and platforms to support their learning! I could not have asked for a better group of individuals to mentor and learn from! I am glad I have them on my PLN to continue this collaborative learning in the years to come! For the ones who are finishing their degree I wish them the best of luck and am excited to see posts on their Twitter and blog, for the ones who are continuing their program I am excited to see their growth throughout their education!
If you want to see some more memorable contributions I have made to my mentees experience check out this document here!