Project Overview

Project: Personal Traction, Beginning in Middle School
Teacher: Jennifer Sebring
School: Trail Ridge Middle School
Location: 1000 Button Rock Drive
Start Date: 09/24/2014
End Date: 12/20/2014

Participant totals:
Student Participants: 23
Mentor Participants: 17

Survey Totals:
Teacher Survey: 1
Student Surveys: 23
Mentor Surveys: 17

Mentor Project Survey Results

Please indicate the student skill areas that you feel you influenced through this project.
0 - Improved math comprehension and ability
1 - Improved science comprehension and ability
14 - Improved written communication skills
11 - Improved basic research skills
7 - Improved project management skills
12 - Improved collaboration skills

Please indicate if your mentoring support aided your student in the following areas.
11 - Better understanding of a professional work environment
14 - Improved awareness of post-secondary educational opportunities
12 - Increased desire to research and plan for post-secondary education
9 - 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?
3 - N/A
10 - Yes
4 - 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.
I really appreciated the feedback from Jamie throughout the process. I believe that this was very helpful to me in directing questions to my student and further understanding their background.
It was nice to get some feedback as to how the student is "feeling" about the mentor / mentee collaboration. Please continue to provide frequent updates / tips to mentors as to how we can better communicate with our students.
I have no suggestions for this.
Be more involved and communicate more often, it's hard to sometimes understand what is going on in the class
Somehow Josh needed to care about this project. It seems he didn't. If he did, it would have been helpful to have the teacher convince him that communicating with me would be worth his while.
As I mentioned in an email to Zac, I really feel that I wasn't able to be much help to this student over the course of the project. He really struggled with written communication to the point that we really were never able to get on the same page. Each time I responded with comments or questions, these were never picked up on by the student and I didn't see second drafts of any work so I'm not sure whether he felt able to incorporate the feedback or not. I think this student found the format of ITP very difficult and consequently wrote very short messages, many of which were not easy to understand or discern what he really needed help with - they were more brief comments on what he had studied in class. We did get a bit of conversation going about his story but I didn't see any final version. I would love to be able to help the students who struggle more, but it's very difficult when they are unable to communicate what they might need or can't respond to comments from previous messages. Perhaps students like this need more support from a teacher in terms of what they should be communicating about - with a template they could follow maybe?

Feedback regarding the quality of the student's final project as well as suggestions for improvement.
I haven't seen the final project yet but have been in discussions with my student on the various stages. The one area for improvement with the student is to continue to proof their work.
I never got to see his final project therefore I cannot add suggestions for improvement.
I know that the final project was to be on Storybird. Since that is not a typical work environment application, a more hands on approach to the mentors would have helped them keep track of when there were to be updates to the final project (push type notifications).
The final project was a written document that was very authentic, i complimented the student and encouraged her to pursue writing
The student was not as engaged as other students I have mentored in the past. I suspect he did more work for the class than what was shared with me. The final product that was shared lacked detail, depth and a sense of a complete product.
My student needs more work on proper grammar. I don't know if the school can help her with it or if she is working on it now.
I think I saw a version of the final project, but didn't get to see what the actual final version looked like. My last email with my suggestions on some potential changes wasn't answered so I didn't really get closure on how the project ended for the student.
The only thing I can think of in this situation, if the student is not working with Academic Intervention Support where an individual assistant could help them with their written communications, would be to either buddy them up with another student in the class who is responding more easily so that they can model their responses on the more able student, or to provide the student with templates to follow or step by step instuctions - e.g. Respond to any questions your mentor has asked; Have you edited your work to include their feedback; Comment on whether the feedback was helpful to you; State your goals for this week etc.
None was shared

Overall experience in the program.

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

Why or why not.
Yes, I would say that I definitely had a more positive experience in this 2nd mentoring situation. Having the teacher provide feedback as well as letting us know what the students were doing in class made a huge difference.
Yes, I would still consider mentoring. I have three students and each are different.
Yes, I enjoy the process
enjoy hearing how the kids view the world and their future
This program is a valuable tool of outreach to students who wish to expand their scholastic work.
Sometimes during this project, I didn't feel like I had a lot to offer the student in the areas she needed it. I think I would mentor again if it were a better match for my areas of interest to the student's. (I will plan on mentoring this same student this semester with the new teacher.)
While it is difficult to know what impact is being made, I think most students get something out of it even though I am not always sure what it might be.
I enjoy helping students think about their future.
The future of the world is in these kids' hands. We need to do everything we can to give them a good start in life.

The most rewarding aspect of participating.
Feeling like I at least helped the student improve their skills -- really thinking about what they wanted to do in the future and why.
For me - It is a privilege to work with young individuals who are in the stage where they are thinking of exploring. It is the spirit of youth that is so contagious. I benefit from that. Hopefully - the experience I share - will benefit them to further explore with confidence.
The beginning was awesome. Santiago was responding and he was excited about the choices of careers he had picked out. He opened up and was more responsive towards the end of the year.
communicating with kids
I always enjoy seeing the progression of a student throughout the project phase. They begin with a few ideas and tune (focus) their interests into a concise, complete product that is often quite polished. I take pride in their satisfaction of their results.
The student really did seem appreciative that I was there for her.
Hearing results of student's research of a career
It is always fun to see how younger people view the world and what is available to them.
Seeing the difference I make with them is usually the most rewarding aspect. I'm not sure I made a difference this time.
This project just fell a bit flat for me but this happens once in a while through no fault of the program
Tony really seemed engaged when he did write

The most difficult aspect of participating.
Sometimes there were lapses in communication so it was difficult to tell where the student was with their project.
The most difficult aspect is - we have to provide feedbacl / guidance based on the communication that is shared. It would be great to get some context about how our student is "changing" or area of need for encouragement. This is best observed "live". It will help us do our job better. THis is so important for both - student and the mentor to establish a strong connection.
Santiago quit responding for awhile but I kept on sending him notes to try to get him to respond. He kept saying he did not need my help but I kept on offering. At the end he started coming around and asking for help. I was frustrated at first but kept sending notes of encouragement which after reading his last response he finally opened up regarding his family life.
the communication from the kids
The most challenging aspect can be enticing students to engage when they have little interest or desire to share and expand their work.
Sometimes not knowing how to respond to a student message when there wasn't much there for me to respond to in the way of the project at hand.
Less frequent communications from student and from myself due to tough work schedule.
I did not feel a real connection with this student like I have with others.
Not kmowing how to help and what to say sometimes. For example. I wanted to be supportive and encouraging mentor. However, when is it appropriate to correct spelling and grammar in a supportive way in emails?
Being effective at drawing motivation out of the student.
The writing issues mentioned above - just an almost total disconnect in terms of messages.
After saying he would be out for surgery late in November, student was unresponsive to messages. Its pretty hard sending a message or two a week when nothing is coming back.

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