Welcome to the Marshall County GT Program Mentorship page. This page was established to provide information regarding mentoring to educators, parents, and students while accommodating the need for distance communication between students, mentors, and teachers.
Mentoring can be defined as “a specialized intervention in which an educator collaborates with a person from a field of interest to help support and guide a student” (Adams, 2009, p. 22). Mentors are first screened and then paired with a student who will benefit from the expertise of the mentor. The student and mentor meet once a week during GT class time at the student’s school under the supervision of the GT Coordinator. The student, mentor, and GT Coordinator decide the course of study based on the student’s area(s) of gifts/needs. If more communication is needed or desired during the week, the student and mentor have access to the GT website where all communication is screened and approved by the GT Coordinator and GT Director.
The term mentor originated in Homer’s Odyssey when Odysseus entrusted the education of his son to his wise friend Mentor (Casey & Shore, 2000; Siegle, 2003). The concept of a mentor being a wise and trusted teacher, counselor, or a supporter who helps to influence a young charge is embraced today as a young or inexperienced student is taught by a knowledgeable individual. In comparison to Mentor educating the son of Odysseus, students today can benefit from the teachings of an expert in a particular field. According to Shevits, Weinfeld, Jeweler, and Barnes-Robinson (2003), mentors can be retired teachers, graduate students, private tutors, or professionals that help students follow a topic of interest while helping to develop the skills necessary for academic achievement. Mentors can also include older students or adults who are positive role models for students working in conjunction with the classroom teacher or gifted specialist (Adams, 2009).
Mentorships offer chances for gifted learners to focus on interests not found in the general classroom by pairing students with an expert in a specific field (Kentucky Administrative Regulations: 704 KAR 3:285, 2008). Mentoring provides options to explore content areas in depth, supply aid with interpersonal and leadership skills, and allow students to explore interests related to careers (Moon & Callahan, 2001). A mentorship allows accelerated learners to create a relationship with another person who shares their interests and goals. Furthermore, it allows gifted students an avenue of challenge that may not be found in the classroom by making opportunities available to apply knowledge to real world situations under the guidance of an expert in a particular field. Creative achievement and continuing education along with adult achievement is linked to having a mentor (Siegle, 2003).
At the present time, our mentors are volunteers from Murray State University and from the Leadership Dynamics class at MCHS who travel to the elementary and middle schools to mentor our younger GT students. We also provide distance mentoring opportunities for selected students by implementing the use of Facetime with iPad2′s or Skype with student computers. Mentors and mentees are paired according to identified strengths, interests, and needs. All Marshall County students who wish to participate in the mentorship program must complete interest surveys, participate in the GT Program, and have parent approval. Mentors are required to exhibit high achievement in their area(s) of giftedness and be positive role models to their mentees. The mentorship service provides accelerated lessons according to formally identified areas of giftedness along with shared interests, academic needs and social/emotional needs. Mentors, mentees, teachers, parents, and principals are subject to interviews to discuss and assess the mentorship program.
Current Mentors/Mentees for 2015-2016