Mentorship Goes Well!

22 11 2008

It’s now official, as I am writing it on my blog:

Online mentoring with Ms. Kerney’s grade 6 class has been interesting. I never thought that I would enjoy it as much as I have. Unfortunetely, I have been unable to really work with the class, outside of the class blog, even though I would have liked to.

I think it has been fantastic, the responses I have gotten back from the grade 6 class, and I am wishing that it wasn’t coming to the end of the Fall semester at the University. I hope that I will be able to keep at least some contact with the class, but I also understand if that is not possible.

For the most part I have only been commenting back and forth with students, and I have not done much commenting specifically on their blogs. Though, in this case, I am learning from the students, and about the students more than I would if I was commenting on their blogs.

I have been enjoying the ever-changing blog backgrounds and seeing what the students have come up with (other than the assingments they are given to write on their blogs). Just through checking up on how the blogs are changing (not with posts, but with backgrounds and avatars) I am finding out the personalities of the students. I think using something like this in my future classroom will be a great opportunity for myself as well as for my students and parents and friends and family members.

The other day, I was commenting back to the steady influx of comments I was recieving when I came upon one students guestbook that I thought was rather neat. This student had comments on their guestbook from family members; the one that I found the most interesting was the comment from her grandmother. I think it is great that something like a class blog can reach out to the older generation like that (the comment was about, how the grandmother had never done something like leaving a comment on a blog). That also proved another point of blogs, especially class blogs; blogging is something that will, undoubtedly, bring people together. People will begin to learn more about each other, and in a classroom wouldn’t this be an ideal? Of course there is always an issue of cyber-bullying, but if that begins to happen, teachers can easily set the class blogs so that they have to approve comments.

The students have left a number of comments for me, and almost always I have been online when the comments start to come in. I find it rather exciting to be responding back to their comments almost at the same time they are commenting on my blog. Unfortunetly, I have come to the conclusion that I am not that great at asking questions of people, so for the most part I have only be answering questions.

For a quick summary of what I am trying to say:

I have made a number of comments, as I comment back to every comment made anywhere on my blog. Most of the comments are done directly on the students’ blogs, but there are a few comments back to them on my blog. I have had a fantastic experience working with Ms. Kerney’s grade 6 class, and it will be something I will remember for many years.

This experience has been another step up the mountain of learning. I will continue to climb and learn everything I can, and join the networks necessary to help me preform as a teacher once I am out in the field. I am well past my first step up the mountain, and I will continue to climb as the days go by. This is not even close to the end of my learning of how to be a teacher; that day will never come. I always want to be open to knowledge, open to new information, and I want to always have that willingness to change. I know that a number of ‘older teachers’ have lost that willingness and openness, but I am truly hoping that I will not become one of them.

This experience has given me a number of ideas on how to interact with classroom blogs, and I am hoping that I will be able to use a class blog in my future classroom. I think they are a wonderful oppotunity for students, teachers, and family, and they are a very much worthwhile project.

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