You Can Make A Difference
Mentor #6 with mentee DC
Date of Meeting: February 27, 2018
DC’s English teacher showed me the assignments his class has been working on. The teacher commented that DC was generally a nice kid and wouldn’t “bite your head off” but wasn’t good at completing class assignments. Unfortunately, it seemed like a number of this teacher’s students were either late or absent from class today—including DC. The counselor came by and said that DC had promised to be in class. I spent time reviewing the class worksheets while waiting for him to show up.
At around 9:30 a.m., he arrived to class. He was respectful and we completed part of the class assignment (to read an excerpt of a novel on slavery and answer some questions about the reading). In the last 10 minutes of class, he complained of a stomach ache but refused to go to the nurse until the end of class because he did not want to deal with the hall monitors. He agreed to complete his assignment at home and we chatted a bit as we waited for class to end.
DC is on the school football team and aspires to be a football player but he also understands he needs a backup plan. His favorite school subject is math but he enjoys writing and hopes to improve his writing skills. He lives far away from the school, which sometimes makes it difficult for him to get to school on time.
Overall, I enjoyed meeting the students and look forward to mentoring them in the coming weeks.
Date of Meeting: March 6, 2018
DC was late to class by about 30 minutes—but it’s still an improvement from last week. He completed his vocabulary worksheet and then we answered questions that the teacher had written on the board about the Dred Scott v Sandford court case. After completing the day’s assignments, he checked his grade online. He is on track and has completed assignments for most of his classes except Biology. He told me that Biology assignments were usually done in the computer lab. One of the reasons he struggles to complete these assignments is because he clashes with his teacher and, as a result, keeps getting kicked out of the class. He also told me that while he is a sophomore, it’s actually his first year at this high school. He moved from a different high school (was living with his mother) to this one (now living with father/grandfather) because he was distracted and failing his classes at the other school.
It was great to see that he is motivated to do better in school now that he is at the new school. I will try to get in touch with his Biology teacher to see what we can do about his Biology assignments (like getting access to the computer lab) next week.
Date of Meeting: March 13, 2018
DC and I worked on a vocabulary assignment for his English class and talked a bit about other classes he was struggling in (such as Biology). After class, I went to briefly talk with his Biology teacher who told me that due to behavior issues, he has been kicked out of her class until a parent-teacher conference can be arranged. She was happy to arrange alternative ways to have him complete his work outside of class hours. I’m going to see if there’s a way to access the class software. If not, the Biology teacher can provide worksheets and a textbook. The teacher emphasized that it’s his behavior (not abilities/comprehension) that is hindering his grades.
Date of Meeting: March 20, 2018
I left the Geometry class a bit early to meet with DC, who was sent to the vice principal’s office for being disruptive in his English class. He wasn’t in the mood to finish his schoolwork, but the vice principal and the safety officers convinced him to work with me in the computer lab. We worked on some of his Biology projects but it was unclear which projects he could complete for class credit. We agreed that he will ask his Biology teacher for a list of projects we can work on next week. Instead, I helped him complete his Geometry homework. Throughout the mentor session, he complained about being too tired and not feeling like working. However, with some encouragement, I was happy that he finished his Geometry homework. I think we are getting along well and I look forward to helping him with Biology next week.
No meetings 4/10/18 or 4/17/18
I wanted to let you know that I'm currently traveling for work so I won't be able to make it to mentor this coming Tuesday. DC was absent last Tuesday so I wasn't able to let him know.
Date of Meeting: 4/24/2018
I had not seen DC for 3 weeks (week #1: Spring Break/ week #2: he was absent from school/ week #3: I was at a work conference) so it was good to finally see him today. He told me that school and life have been going well—in fact, he was very excited to show me that he earned a score of 96% on his latest Biology exam. Unfortunately, we were only able to talk briefly – his mom was picking him up to meet with his probation officer.
Date of meeting: 5/1/2018
DC worked on his assignment for his graphic design class (paint “Starry Night”). As he worked, we talked about his grades and his probation officer. He was very excited that his grades were going up and at some point during class, he went to the school office to get a printout of his grade report. He is passing every class except AVID and World History with Mr. D. He explained that he had some behavior issues in Mr. D’s class, and that Mr. D had not entered completed coursework into the gradebook.
He then talked about why he is in probation. One day he impulsively stole a laptop from a woman and got caught. He said he wasn’t sure why he did it, and that his friends told him to. In court, the woman said that she “felt sorry” for him. Now he has to write a letter of apology to the woman, as well as have a probation officer check on him regularly.
Date of meeting: 5/8/2018
DC walked into the classroom, glanced at me, then proceeded to exit through the other door. When class started, I realized he probably decided to skip class. I went out to search for him and saw him sitting in the classroom next door. He said “Hi Vivian,” then told me he didn’t feel like doing anything because he was feeling very angry about something that a classmate said to him. After calming down, he agreed to go to class. After we finished the day’s assignment, he was called down to the office to meet with his probation officer. When he returned to class, he was quite restless (chatting/arguing with classmates) but finished an extra credit assignment for the class.
Date of meeting: 5/15/2018
The fire alarm rang when class started. DC and I walked to the football field and stayed there for a short time before we were told to go back to class. He kept saying he didn’t feel like doing any work/did not have more schoolwork and urged me to go home or get lunch. I kept pressing on and saying we would work on today’s graphic design assignment.
As we headed back to class, I lost him in the crowd. He did not return to class so I set out to search for him. I saw the counselor in the hallway and asked her about him. She called security officers, who then said they had found him on campus and would bring him back up to class. After about 10 minutes in class, there was still no sign of DC. I went downstairs to look for a school security officer—when I spotted him inside Mr. Q’s classroom in the 2nd floor. It turns out that most of Mr. Q’s class had decided to skip class after the fire alarm. Mr. Q was showing DC some family photos. It was kind of a cute moment, except that the mentee was avoiding graphic design class. I told him that today’s graphic design assignment was easy (copying notes from the board for his upcoming final). He followed me back up to class and overall seemed quite agitated—arguing with his classmates, looking for a phone charger, saying he wanted to paint (but did not actually paint when Ms. T gave him all the supplies to paint). However, he did finish taking notes for his study guide. Hopefully next week I will get an update on his grades and perhaps prepare for finals which are quickly approaching.
What follows (here to end) are efforts to set up a second mentee for this mentor, none of which worked out)
Date of Meeting: February 27, 2018.
I met my mentee during her Graphic Design class which had a substitute teacher today. We watched a short documentary on the Black Panthers. While most kids in the class seemed to be distracted by phones/chatter, she paid attention to the teacher and the documentary. She did not have any assignments to work on today so we talked for a bit after the documentary was over.
Her favorite class is AVID, which is a class that teaches skills in college prep, while her most challenging class is Geometry. She mentioned that she prefers to eat alone or in a classroom during lunchtime because her classmates are too loud. She walks to school every day.
Date of Meeting: March 6, 2018
Unfortunately, my mentee was absent from school today. I checked with the main office and the hall monitors; they said she was marked “present” in her first class (PE class) but was nowhere to be found. I went to the PE class to try to find her, but no luck. I learned that her class during the 10:15-11:45 a.m. block has been having substitute teachers for the past few weeks (the regular teacher might have quit). Hopefully I will get to see her next week.
Date of Meeting: March 13, 2018
Unfortunately, my mentee did not attend class today. The school officers and school librarian were very helpful in trying to locate her, but we had no luck.
Date of Meeting: March 20, 2018
I was reassigned to mentor a new student because my other mentee has been absent from school. I went to his Geometry class and unfortunately, he did not show up to class today (possibly because he is out sick).
Email 4/15/18 –
Also, would it be okay to mentor one student? It seems that my new mentee is often absent from his geometry class. It also looks like that class also has a tutor who goes in to help the students.
We ask all our mentors to submit a weekly mentoring report to track the progress of their mentee(s). Here are excerpts from a few of those reports.
All names have been anonymized and assigned to a number (i.e. Mentor #1) or random two letter initials.