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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Mentorship block

Mentorship block

Related Tags: 6-8 Middle School
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Hello all!

I am a student teacher who has only spent a full week in my middle school practicum school.

Every morning there is a ten minute Mentorship block and every Wednesday there is a Mentorship class for one hour. The teachers get a pre-made curriculum to follow for the Wednesdays, but it doesn't seem particularly advanced or in-depth. In the ten-minute mornings my mentor teacher usually takes attendance, gives announcements, and goes around the class having short discussions with everyone. The ten-minute blocks are meant to give the teachers a chance to talk to anyone who doesn't seem to be having a good day or is having difficulties before they go throughout the day dealing with the issues and potentially disrupting class.

The Wednesday blocks are longer and my mentor teacher uses the curriculum to teach a lesson. The lessons revolve around discussing personal growth and developing positive skills and traits. (eg: discussing good risks versus bad risks)

I was wondering if anyone has had experience teaching this type of class in their schools and what they did with the time? The 10 minute mornings in particular seem quite hard to plan for. I suppose you could do short get-to-know-you activities or discussions, but I can't see much of anything deep or meaningful coming out of ten minutes. Hopefully I'm wrong though!

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Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

I think another name for this can be "advisory" and Chris Lehmann talks alot about this- This is probably the best link for you: http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/2010/02/23/school-20-creating-th...

I think advisory works well when the teacher also acts as the go to adult, in loco parentis, for the group of kids. If there is a trust and relationship there, rather than just another lecture about cyberbullying, it could be awesome. But the kids and the teacher have to have that sort of mentor relationship in place, and be willing to go to bat for a kid who is having problems, as an advocate, not as another teacher to lecture the kid as well. 10 minutes in homeroom, not really a lot of time to get to form an attachment with the kids. But a lot of it has to do with how the folks involved view the process, and if it is one of "This is your school family" it could be great, even if it is short.

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