Project Overview

Project: 2014 Spring - Writing with Impact
Teacher: Cameron Shinn
School: Preston Middle School
Location: 4901 Corbett Drive
Start Date: 01/20/2014
End Date: 05/28/2014

Participant totals:
Student Participants: 29
Mentor Participants: 29

Survey Totals:
Teacher Survey: 1
Student Surveys: 29
Mentor Surveys: 29

Mentor Project Survey Results

Please indicate the student skill areas that you feel you influenced through this project.
1 - Improved math comprehension and ability
9 - Improved science comprehension and ability
29 - Improved written communication skills
29 - Improved basic research skills
29 - Improved project management skills
22 - Improved collaboration skills

Please indicate if your mentoring support aided your student in the following areas.
18 - Better understanding of a professional work environment
12 - Improved awareness of post-secondary educational opportunities
15 - Increased desire to research and plan for post-secondary education
23 - Improved awareness of the value of a professional support network

The average quality of the messages received from students throughout the project.

Did your student share a final product (presentation, research report, plan, etc) with you for this project?
0 - N/A
11 - Yes
18 - No

Average level and quality of assistance received from the teacher throughout the project.

Average level and quality of assistance you received from Mentored Pathways staff throughout the project.

Things either the teacher or the Mentored Pathways Staff do to make a similar project more successful.
Smaller projects. Twice in a row now a project just seemed to end without being completed.
Insist on sharing the final project - and working papers and drafts at least once if not twice a week.
N/A Cameron and his students are always great!
The teacher and ITP staff could work on the schedule of sending emails so that the mentors would know when to expect letters from the students.
I have nothing at this time. I see growth/improvement from both parties each time around.
This one was perfect!
With this project, no issues were encountered.
Nothing! Cameron Shinn was absolutely amazing to work with - very communicative and clear as to the goals of the project.
Cam knows how to run a successful project. The ITP staff did not need to intervene much, but were active participants and ensured that the students were successful.
I think overall it was very successful.
Ryan tried to share his presentation, but once again it was not accessible. I have yet to actually see any of the presentations from my mentors, although I have asked several times. Please,please, please fix this!
not sure- it was a struggle to get the student to send meaningful messages and follow through on suggestions in this particular case.
Can't think of anything --keep it up. THe information provided great context and made the objectives of the project clear and tangible.
Encourage the students to commit to their project and rely more on the mentor (and also not to be afraid to ask more from their mentor, if they feel it would be helpful). Then this commitment should be monitored strictly along the project's life. For a remote mentor this is not easy, while I think that for some students it is important to have someone physically present who checks that the work is going on. I mean, He/she should not necessarily check the contents of the work (for the project and contents there's the mentor), but just to verify if there are bottlenecks not shared with the mentor, or if the student got stuck for any reason. It depends on the student's character: some may need a more direct involvement to go ahead.
You all did a great of of setting expectations.
I'd like for there to be better closure. The last message, eight days ago, that I got from my student was "I'm all ready to present"; then nothing, which leads me to wonder if I'll hear anything more from him?
better access and training for the students to survey monkey
Provide more information about the expectation on the mentor. For example: That the mentor should find experts to take the survey.
More communication on the expected progress against the original schedule.
As I always say on these surveys - Cameron Shinn is one of the very best there is! I'm so sad to hear he is leaving but hoping he will get things started up at his new school. The more teachers I work with, the more I realize how far above and beyond Mr. Shinn goes with these projects and it obviously has a huge impact on his students. We are always aware of the week's goals, any issues that arise, the school schedule and testing days, and what he would like us to discuss with his students in addition to just the project work.
I don't feel the project was well-defined. I was uncertain about what Kylie was supposed to produce and how she was supposed to produce it. My attempts to contact Cameron produced vague and/or untimely responses. Kylie kept me informed about what she needed from me.
Not a thin!
The students seemed unable to do much research beyond internet searching, and I don't know if this is due to lack of support, resources, or culture. Despite my repeated encouragement, the students seemed resistant to seek alternate sources.
Kylie's project was very difficult to research on line (not many resources/information). But despite reaching out to the teacher on her behalf, I don't think she sought any other resources (library books, contacting university programs, etc). Also, with the survey of experts, I don't think the students had a realistic idea of who their experts should be and who would realistically respond to their request.

Feedback regarding the quality of the student's final project as well as suggestions for improvement.
I didn't see the final project so I can't comment on it. I'm not even sure if my mentoree finished his project.
Calbert delivered an incredible project. He was such a pleasure to work with! I am so lucky to have gotten him.
The student's final project is on average rating. It might have been more outstanding if the student well-incorporated the suggestions (i.e. deeper purpose of topic) of the mentor.
Anastasia was very intent on driving this project herself. There were a few opportunities for me to provide input but most of all she just wanted the support. For the end presentation, she was so focussed on the document and content that she forgot to use my inputs. I believe that Mr. Shinn will catch her on these formatting/typing issues but hopefully he's looking more at content than prefection in the power points.
I thought the student's final project was very good. He provided relevant background and basic knowledge on the subject and then tied in his survey results.
The student is exceptionally intelligent and motivated. Although he performed an enormous amount of research, the format for the final project presentation may have made it difficult to put a large amount of this information into the presentation.
Anna was an absolute delight. She was constantly thinking and seeking ways to learn more and share her knowledge.
I am continuously blown away by what today's 6th graders can accomplish. The integration of technology in the classroom probably has something to do with this, because it brings forth such wonderful learning opportunities.
Marcus did a great job at listening to my advise for his presentation. He really nailed it.
didn't see it, but I know he got a 3, whatever that means. Seemed a good thing to him.
Quinn's final product was good, but it was not as ambitious as she originally set it out to be. Somewhere along the line she lost the motivation to deal with the quantitative portion of the project.
student did not share a final project
THe final project was not shared, however the drafts and the majority of the content was shared. The work was thoughtful and accurate. I wish I had seen the final project so that I could see the prominence he placed to various parts of the project.
Unfortunately I could not enjoy Alex's final project as he has not shared it with me. In fact he has not replied to my solicitations and offers to help for the final rush... I am so sorry about this, because I think he is a special kid with special interests, and his project could have shown a peculiar originality along with proving his ability to synthesize such a vast subject in what is really exciting in it for him. I am afraid he felt a little overwhelmed by this work and lost confidence and motivation, but I could have helped him more if he had allowed me to. Naturally, I hope that this is the reason or something similar, and not a more serious event that prevented him from completing his work. In any case, I'd like to let Alex know that I liked working with him a lot, and I liked his observations and his interest in dinosaurs. If my support, which could not be daily, was not enough for him, I apologize for that, but I really did my best to be present when I felt it was needed.
She did a good job of capturing the info, analyzing it, and presenting to the client.
Ayden will need to pay more attention to spelling, punctuation and grammar in the future to be effective in his communications.
Amber did a good job getting the final project together. I was impressed that she found a good focus and presentation.
I would like to see the final project. I only saw a draft. Plus, I would like to hear how the presentation went and how interactive it was.
My student's final project turned out very well and she worked on it early and often so, unlike with many of these projects when you receive something from a student one day before a deadline, we have chance to really review and discuss and make changes to make her presentation stronger. We also got to discuss aspects of giving the presentation itself, and that went very well also, with lots of creative ideas flowing between us of how to get the audience involved. The only thing I would like to have heard is how the final presentation went over with the class - we don't often get to know that part. Wondering if it would even be possible for teachers to video class presentations and upload them to mentors via the telementoring site so we could see the final result.
Kylie did an amazing job. I helped her structure her presentation and checked for spelling errors, grouping suggestions, etc. I shared some stories with her that I hope helped her open her mind to new things.
I was so darn happy with the student's final project after a bumpy start. I only wish that we could see a video of the final presentation to bask in the glory - if only remotely.
I was disappointed that the communication with the student trailed off and I never received the final project. I made suggestions to the working slide deck, but never saw those changes implemented, despite my encouragement and request.
I did not see the final project. Despite several of my suggestions and requests, the project was never updated. It seemed there were some technical issues with uploading documents?

Overall experience in the program.

Would you consider mentoring new students in the future?
0 - No
29 - Yes

Why or why not.
This is only my second telementor experience so I'm hoping it gets better.
The telementor program is a great and efficient way of sharing my knowledge and abilitites to my mentees. It enriches not only the skills of the students but it gives a sense of fulfillment to the mentors s well.
I see the kids learning tangible skills and facts, but most importantly are critical thinking skills the gain.
Each collaboration experience with a new student is an excellent opportunity to share, guide and collaborate on a new project. Very enjoyable overall.
This was an incredible experience for me. I felt that I was learning constantly from Anna and hoped she learned from me as well.
This is such a positive experience for the students - I wish I could do more.
It would be more a more definite yes if I can count on seeing the final presentations
very little work is required to feel as though I've had a positive impact on the student
My experience with telementoring is inspiring and motivating. The students I have met through the program have enriched my life because they have been generous with themselves--I've learned about them as well as about their academic challenges. I tell my colleagues here at Merck to become telementors because the experience is uniquely rewarding.
It is an experience that helps both parties, the mentor and the student, to grow and learn, even though in a situation like mine (being a foreigner for a US student) it can be more difficult because we come from different environments, so we could have different perceptions of the same matters. Yet, I think this is enriching for both, especially for young students who do not have usually a vast experience with "difference", so it can be a good exercise.
I enjoy helping students learn. As a lifetime learner, I am determined to help others find it enjoyable and rewarding!
Always worth it to positively influence children towards better lives.
I love knowing that I can help a student with reasoning and general research skills and maybe in the process encourage them to pursue higher education
It is always fun to help them grow.
I enjoy seeing the student develop.
See prior surveys
I found the experience of telementoring fun. My mother was an elementary school teacher for years, so this is my way of tapping into what she must've felt from working with her students.
Absolutely - I get far more out of the program than the student does ;-) Okay, it is a 50/50 arrangement, but the students really do enrich my life in more ways than imaginable.
I do feel that the students benefit from having 1:1 interaction with someone about their project.
I do think there is significant value to the students. It is very time-consuming, though.

The most rewarding aspect of participating.
Helping out the student
Helping young people
One of the most rewarding aspect of this program is knowing that my mentee appreciates the tips I give her and learns something new from me.
Getting to know the students and teachers. The teachers in this program are truly dedicated.
When you can tell the student is having fun and is excited about their project, and is learning at the same time.
This time, it was the way McKenna blossomed during the project. She began in a somewhat uncommitted and scattered way, but soon fully invested herself and focused her attention on clear results.
To see the growth of the student in skills and communication.
My mentee, Anna, was so enthuastic and keen to learn and discuss her project. Her excitement was contagious and made me eager to hear from her/read her learnings.
Hearing the excitement from my student as she achieved goals along the way. The project was complex and spanned a long period of time, and instead of growing tired of the experience she seemed to gain momentum.
Helping the student be successful with his project and help him improve his thinking and final presentation.
Getting to know Ryan and learning to share his passion for lacrosse.
Seeing that my suggestions were influencing Quinn.
seeing student's passion for the issue
Getting to know the student. What a BIG personality he has!
Seeing Alex sharing his doubts and questions with me, and understanding that I could provide helpful hints to make him go ahead: in other words, working together to create something good.
Seeing the final presentation slide deck.
Seeing improvement.
being able to help ( add value)
Experiencing the appreciation of the student.
I really enjoy working on these 'passion projects' where students pick from very wide ranging topics. I enjoy sports a lot and always like to encourage girls to participate so working on the history of women's soccer with the student, with her goal being to increase participation from girls was very rewarding and interesting to me - I enjoyed helping with the research and learned a lot myself. Lauren was also a very good communicator. Sometimes her messages were short or did not really respond to my previous message but mostly we kept a good conversation going.
(Hopefully) helping to set Kylie on the path to a difficult but rewarding career.
Watching a student who did not have the greatest attendance track record turn into a high performer .... I really feel as if I made a difference in this student's life.
Knowing I was having an impact on their education, and that someone was taking their project seriously.
Learning more about improv with my student.

The most difficult aspect of participating.
Not getting responses or quality work from the student
Waiting for messages and uploads from the student.
Time committment.
One difficulty could be motivating my mentee to think deeper and out of the box, when she already has something in mind.
At times, the students do not understand how to share documents/ data etc. through the ITP website.
none -perhaps the only thing is that I wish I could have given even more time!
This was one of the least difficult projects I have participated in, even though it required a decent amount of work on my behalf. My student hit a bump in the road near the 3/4 mark, and the hardest part was making sure she came back into "the zone" quickly. But we did it!
Contacting experts for a survey is always challenging and you are never sure you will get replies. That may be frustrating for the student.
Ryan and I did not always communicate all that well, we seemed to miss each other in what each other expected. And not seeing the final presentation.
Occasional long gaps in student participation due to testing.
lack of communication from student
Managing the time to get back to the student when he needed it.
For me the most difficult aspect was the time difference between Alex and me, and my inability to respond immediately to his messages, because of this reason and because of my work engagement. I confirm however that I never forgot him, and always read his messages (even, sometimes, in quite "adventurous" conditions, far from home) and provided him with my feedback as soon as I had the chance to do that.
Finding time to communicate regularly.
Not always seeing that Ayden had taken my input and thought about it.
no face to face discussion--video conference would be nice
It was a lot of time to find websites and help with researching.
Finding time to communicate.
I forgot to mention this on a previous survey - but there is a huge difference when the teacher is really able to make time for the students to work on their communications with mentors. In the Tom Reed project, computer access was a constant issue, with the result that some messages were very brief or we were unable to connect some weeks. Mr Shinn always plans for this to be a part of the week's lesson time and that means we got consistent good quality messages. he also instructs his students on what MAKES a good message and that would be something to encourage in other teachers also. I don't know if there is a 'Teacher Tips' packet that goes out to teachers who participate in the ITP program but this may help more teachers to understand what helps mentors.
Establishing a dialog with the student. It's difficult as she could not see me, hear me, or really interact with me at all.
At times it is difficult to find the time to respond in a timely manner, but you just have to figure out how to make the time for the important things in life.
The students responded to my emails, but did not act on any of my suggestions - whether they were to seek additional resources, to look at specific links, or to incorporate specific changes into their presentation.
Not seeing much impact of my suggestions. I did quite a bit of research to help my student, and it was frustrating to see it get ignored. I also did not like contacting experts for my student. She did not put much effort into finding contacts, so a lot of that fell to me. When I signed up, I didn't realize that would be part of my responsibility.

First time you've been part of a formal mentoring program.
27 - No
2 - Yes