As a mentor, it can be difficult to fully comprehend the impact you’re making in the lives of the students you meet. You might wonder if the hour or two you spend each week is really paying off… The simple truth is that you are making a tremendous impact. While you may not be able to see a tremendous change in your students week to week, there’s another group who is noticing the difference… teachers.
A Teacher’s Perspective on the T1L1 Mentoring Program
A few weeks ago, we had the chance to speak with Liz Chandler, Diane Crozier, Isaiah Hunter, and Cathy Sandy, 4th grade teachers at Blackwell Elementary School in Marietta, GA. Here are a few highlights from our conversation about the positive impact T1L1 mentors are making in their classrooms:
What are some ways Teach One to Lead One has made a tangible difference at Blackwell Elementary School?
Teach One to Lead One taught our students basic character traits and allowed them focus on one each week both at school and at home. For instance, every week, students take home a letter with them about the specific T1L1 principle, which gives parents the opportunity to respond and teach those principles within their homes.
The small group discussions are also valuable for our students. Those who may not share in a large group setting can share personal experiences and ideas. The activities allow students to work together to develop team building skills as well as trust.
More than anything I see children sticking up for each other, by learning about principles through T1L1 and other programs like No Place for Hate.
Why do you think the T1L1 Program, leading students to develop core life principles, works compared to a “traditional” mentoring program?
I think the reason T1L1 works so well with our students is because it gives them a chance to learn a new trait each week and focus on that one single idea throughout the week. The training program itself involves more active participation and many of my students said, “We had fun learning”.
Another great thing about T1L1 is the opportunity to serve multiple students. A lot of other mentoring programs focus on one-on-one mentoring. As a result, not as many students are being served.
Finally, T1L1 gives students the opportunity to learn the principles when they are young and can relate to some of the stories that are told or videos they saw in the program. It gets the students to understand the principles by showing examples and by asking them how they can show these principles in life. I think that when they see these things and relate to them at a young age, they will hopefully carry on the principles throughout their lives with a good understanding.
While the impact you’re making in the lives of your students may be hard to see from time to time, we hope these words bring encouragement. Teachers across the United States and around the world are seeing their student’s lives change because of the time you spend in the classroom each week. The principles you teach are being heard and lived out in both the classroom and at home.
Teachers: What are some of your favorite aspects of the T1L1 mentoring program?
Mentors: Who are some of the teachers you would recognize for being incredible supporters of the T1L1 mentoring program?