Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reflecting on Mentoring

On September 7th, 2013, I joined a peer tutoring program called "Salt Lake Teens Write" which "is a community-based mentoring program [who pairs] local teens with adult mentors [in order] to motivate both teens and mentors to strengthen their writing skills for personal, academic and professional development." Over the last 3 months I was provided the opportunity of working with one 17 year old teen who is an immigrant from Burma trying to improve his reading and writing skills. During that time we discussed how to write music, lyrics, poetry, short stories, and college applications. We witnessed many accomplishments and look forward to many, many more as we both elected to continue with the program until its conclusion in May 2014.
The young man I have been working with has opened my eyes to a new world and way of writing. Likewise, he has shown me a new and better way of seeing the world and writing about it. The reciprocity I felt while working with him and the blessed opportunity to work within this program has dramatically effected my life for the better and I believe will continue to do so.
The education and mentoring training I received from my instructor helped me immensely. Without such collaborative insight from him, the other class members, and our various texts I would not have understood the importance of tutoring an ESL student -- or any student for that matter -- with respect, understanding, sincere concern, and gratitude. in fact, that last word "gratitude" is the best and only word I can think adequately to attribute to this last semester and, ironically, to its end at the end of this 2013 year. Every November we thank God -- if we believe in one -- and/or everyone else around us for the blessings which we may not recognize on a daily basis or throughout the year, but are there. In December, we watch as the snow blankets the ground while Christmas Lights light our city streets. In January, we see the beginning to an appropriate end and start anew. I am grateful as I exit this MENTOR WRITING 1810 course for not simply taking it, but allowing it to take me. 

2 comments:

  1. David, it seems as if you have genuinely enjoyed this semester as far as your service learning project goes. You have played a vital role in a very special process for a young ESL learner. From what you have said about your whole experience, it has evidently been touching and nurturing for not only your student, but you as well. Teaching a young person the things you have is very respectable and will be very helpful to him as a student and as a person. As you have claimed, you have gained more out of this project than you had ever thought possible and what you have done is very admirable. Learning and teaching about writing college applications should prove useful to both he and you as the time approaches for each of you to apply for further education. You seemed to have learned a lot about your student, yourself, and tutoring in general, while establishing a new friendly relationship in the process. I hope that in the months to come the two of you continue to build on what you have already started in the Salt Lake Teens Write program. Good luck to both you and your student.

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  2. It is wonderful to see how other writing programs work from different parts of the country as I am from Florida. This mentoring program seems like a great thing to be a part of. It must be so fulfilling to be able to partner up and watch a budding writer develop. I am a Writing Fellow for my university. A Writing Fellow is an embedded tutor. Those in the program sit in on classes and then collaborate with students about various assignments for the class we are assigned. Being with a class means that we work with a group of students at a time. It is my first semester in the program, and your post is the first I have heard about a one-on-one mentoring program. I'm sure you two grew quite close and the assistance you gave your partner will held close to his heart especially as he is an ESL student. Based on your post, it must have been successful! I wish you a blessed Christmas and a fruitful New Year.

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