Because I'm graduated and work four days a week now, my school asked me if I wanted to become a mentor. Dutch people know what this is, but for Americans it's something mid-way between a home-room teacher, a guidance counselor and an elementary teacher. Every class of 20-30 kids (I only have 18) has their own mentor. The mentor is the person who monitors their grades and who they can talk to if something is wrong, or if they just need some attention. The mentor is also the person the parents contact when they want to contact school for questions or remarks.I teach my class music, Dutch and study skills, so I see them 9 times a week.The school year is only three days old but already being a mentor gives a whole new dimension to my teacherhood. (Is that a word? It is now.)
My mentor group is a class of first year students (7th graders, for the Americans). Everything is new to them in our school, and most of them don't know any other kids in their class yet. So it's up to me to make them comfortable with each other. I'm really going to try and make them bond, because I want the atmosphere in the class to be as positive as possible, so that when they're settled in and the hormones start acting up there's already a good relationship between the kids.
Yesterday I taught "my" kids 7th period, which was their last period of their very first day of high school. They were so enthusiastic! They told me about how they walked to the gym and it started to rain, how the math teacher's glasses were crooked and how their German teacher told them they would start working when the class didn't have any more questions for him, so they chatted with him all 50 minutes.I think they're cute. And they're my kids!
I sincerely hope they stay this upbeat and happy...