The 1:1 Mentoring component of Summit Learning supports Habits of Success, a key outcome of the Summit Learning Program (SLP). The meetings are the most personalized aspect of SLP: Every student has a set time that is exclusively his or hers for meeting with a teacher weekly. The intent is for a teacher to mentor a student throughout all of his or her years in our school, to become a partner in the student’s academic and social-emotional journey. The mentor guides students to set goals, make realistic action plans, and reflect on their progress.
As related in earlier posts, our school’s unique circumstances presented hurdles to overcome (see Treading a New Path, An Eye on the Finish Line) as we introduced SLP in grades 9 & 10. Initially, our teachers and students did not recognize how impactful mentoring could be. Like many schools using SLP for the first time, we zeroed in on Projects and Focus Areas, the instructional pieces that are graded. In fact, although not accounted for by grades, 1:1 mentoring would have been the best first step in onboarding our students at the beginning of the school year.
Here is top 10 list of Reasons to Start Student Onboarding with 1:1 Mentoring:
10. It’s a perfect opportunity to verify the correct spelling of a student’s name.
9. It provides a personalized introduction to the platform for each mentee.
8. It’s time to start a trail of weekly notes to use in demonstrating growth over time.
7. This is the chance to develop rapport with students before you assign work.
6. You and your mentees can explore big picture goals together.
5. There’s no better time to consider college goals.
4. Your mentees get to set goals for grades.
3. Now is the time to plan a strategy for staying ahead of the Big Blue Line.*
2. Students see how greatly their teachers value mentoring.
AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON IS….
1. If you start now, you will accumulate more minutes toward building strong, enduring partnerships with other learners!
Establishing a mentoring or advisory program for high school students is educationally sound practice. The Summit Learning Program gives educators the structure and tools to implement such a program with relative ease.
*The “Big Blue Line” moves daily, and incomplete work turns red as the line passes. The image below shows what one student is facing in the final weeks of school.