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You Can Make A Difference

Mentor #7

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Mentor #7 with mentee TB

Date of meeting:  10/23/18

  • This was my first time meeting TB and being in her sophomore English class.

  • The work in class involved defining and describing the theme in a story or song.

  • Because Ms. B, the teacher, conducted the class during the full 90 minutes, I sat next to TB, followed the instructions, and compared answers to fill-in-the-blank exercises.


Date of meeting: 10/30/18

  • The work in class continued to be the theme in a story.

  • As TB sits in the very back of the class with her desk pushed against the wall, I again pulled a desk to sit next to her.

  • For this class there were two 20-minute periods to complete exercises. I worked with TB on reading the stories and on the exercises that were to be answered. We completed all exercises, meaning that TB could turn them in and not have to complete them as homework.

  • Two of TB’s classmates pulled up desks next to her and she shared the answers that we had completed together.


Date of meeting: 11/6/18

  • TB did not attend class on this day.

  • I remained in the classroom for the duration of the class in anticipation that she would arrive late.

  • The students were scheduled to take a standardized test. This was administered by Colleen Piper. The test took up most of the class time.

  • The work in class continued to be the theme in a story and I took and extra-credit assignment thinking that I may be able to help TB with it.


Date of Meeting: 11/13/18

  • The work in class is mood and tone in writing using Pixar short videos.

  • Ms. B had rearranged desks into clusters of 4 desks. I shared one of the clusters with TB and two of her classmates.

  • TB had completed the Pixar assignment for three of four videos in previous classes. We saw the fourth video together and tried completing the assigned questions. TB completed more of the assignment than her classmates in the cluster.

  • TB is distracted by her classmates as they have their smartphones in hand and show her its content throughout the class.

  • I complimented TB on having completed so much of the assignment and tried to guide all three students to focus on the work at hand.


Date of Meeting: 11/27/18

  • The work in class continues to be mood and tone in writing.

  • I shared one of the clusters of desks with TB and one of her classmates.

  • TB and her classmate did not attempt to read the material that Ms. B projected on the board and could not answer the questions that were asked of them.

  • TB became more interested and involved when Ms. B had the students play a competitive game during which they earned points by answering questions based on the lesson material. They earned tickets for a raffle at the end of the week for coming in in third place for one of the contests.


Date of Meeting: 12/4/18

  • The work in class is irony in writing.

  • I shared one of the clusters of desks with TB and two of her classmates. One of the classmates did no work at all during the class and distracted TB constantly.

  • I encouraged TB and her other classmate, XXX, to complete the in-class assignment based on a six-page story. I read the story and then moved through the assignment by reminding them that we had enough time to complete it and that remarking on the progress they were making. TB and XXX completed the assignment and Ms. B said they would each earn 50 points for completing it.

  • Today’s session was the most productive so far, evidenced by the completion of an assignment during which TB and XXX both had opinions on the story and by and large wrote their own answers.


Date of Meeting: 12/12/18

  • The work in class is conflict in writing.

  • I shared one of the clusters of desks with TB and two of her classmates.

  • TB had her head on her desk during the entire class and did no work. When the teacher Ms. B came by to check on the in-class assignment she asked TB if she was feeling OK. TB didn’t answer.

  • One of the classmates in the cluster, XXX, did some work on the computer and I helped her with some of the questions.

  • I had very little communication other than good morning and farewell with TB during the session.


Date of Meeting: 01/09/19

  • This was the first class of the year and Ms. B told her students there would be no teaching or assignments. Instead she had the students play interactive games during which the students had to make decisions and explain their reasoning behind their decisions.

  • I shared one of the clusters of desks with TB and two of her classmates.

  • TB and one of her friends in the cluster did not participate in the game and put their heads on their desks during the entire class.

  • I had no communication with TB during the session as she did not reply to my greeting or farewell.


Date of Meeting: 01/15/19

  • The current topic in class is essays. Students have the assignment of writing a five-paragraph essay on a subject of their choice. Ms. B reviewed the parts of an essay and content of each part during the first 30 minutes of class and provided the rest of the time to students for completing the first draft of their assignment.

  • The desk cluster in which TB sits had four students on this day and I pulled up a desk to sit next to TB.

  • TB has not picked a topic and was not interested in exploring ideas that I offered.  Instead she spent the time in class at first arguing with one of her classmates and then looking a videos on her phone with that same classmate.

  • In contrast to last week, TB acknowledged my greeting and made a little eye contact with me.


Date of Meeting: 01/22/19

  • The ongoing topic in class is essays. Following a warm-up exercise, students Ms. B gave the rest of the period to work on their essay. A draft is due on 1/29/19. Students can choose a classmate to review their draft before turning it in.

  • The classroom is now arranged in a u-shape to facilitate communication among students.

  • TB responded to my morning greeting. I asked her about progress on her essay, offering to help, and she replied that her topic is basketball and that she had worked on it at home.

  • When given a laptop, she typed approximately three paragraphs on her own. By contrast, the classmate sitting next to her had typed nothing. I congratulated TB on her progress at the end of the class.


Date of Meeting: 01/29/19

  • Ms. B provided the students with the entire class time to work on their essay drafts. Final drafts are due on February 1.

  • While TB did not return my morning greeting, she later replied to my question about progress on her essay that she had finished it. She then ate breakfast and watched a movie on the phone with her friend while working on her essay.

  • She handed me her laptop and asked me to read the three paragraphs that she had written for her essay. Her topic is her personal experience with basketball. In her writing she explained how she has loved basketball since she was a child and that playing and watching basketball are her favorite activities.

  • I congratulated her on her progress, provided feedback on content and spelling, and suggested that she write a topic sentence as the essay assignment requires. She wrote some more before the class ended and will get extra credit for completing her draft before the end of class.

  • The classmate with whom TB was watching the movie has made no progress on her essay and told Ms. B that she was not going to do the assignment. I have offered to help this student but she doesn’t respond to my entreaties.

Interested in mentoring for Oakland Serves?

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. 

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