At the start of the year, we were each tasked with mentoring a few students from the EDTC 300 class. Here is my story (Insert law and oder DUN DUN here)
Before I begin, I would like to just say that creating interactions with Maya, Janelle, Van, Kassia, and Tina did not come naturally to me, and on top of that, preparing for my pre-internship did not make that any easier. However, once my pre-internship ended, I was able to start finding more opportunities and time to connect and the process just became a lot easier and I had a lot of fun. They are all amazing, funny, creative, talented and knowledgable people and they are going to make great teachers in the future.
Now, getting into it, I was honestly a little nervous about the task but at the same time excited for the opportunity to connect with new people. A challenge for me, was making sure that I was interacting with everyone and not focusing on one person. This was especially harder to do with those who chose learning projects that I had no knowledge of and I found myself wanting to gravitate towards those who I found more of a common interest with. I think that is just a common thing to do as a person, but it was a great learning opportunity for me as a further teacher. I am not going to have knowledge about all my students interests, but it is important that I still look to make connections with them and build that relationship and when that happens, I am also able to learn a few things from them!
Further, one of my biggest concerns was that it had already been a while since I had taken EDTC 300, and was still trying to re-learn a lot of stuff myself, so I didn’t know how much I was going to be able to help.
With that being said, I was still able to extend my hand and offer to help out whenever needed. Honestly, I did not have too many group interactions past my first introduction, and I think that was mainly due to the fact that if anyone had a question or comment, they would just post it to the Slack community first. However, I was able to have a lot of great interactions through Twitter and their blogs which was an extremely rewarding experience. Being able to provide feedback or resources that was able to help them in their learning journeys (such as for Kassia) was really great. It got me thinking about my role as a teacher, and how our job is to guide students and help them in any way we can and this was a great opportunity to practice.
One of the other great things that I got from the experience, and one that I alluded to earlier, was just how much I was able to learn from them! By the end of the semester, most of my mentees knew more than I did about WordPress and Slack and one of my favourite parts about this project was learning from them and gaining their perspectives. This is also one of the great things about being a teacher. We are always learning as teachers and just as much as students learn from us, we also learn from our students and that is such a valuable and rewarding part about the profession.
To close, I would just like to thank my mentees for this experience and I would like to acknowledge and appreciate their hard work throughout this semester. I wish you all the best going forward and I look forward to connecting with you in the future!