Back in September, I realized that my students’ writing skills needed dramatic improvement. There was no way I could give my students enough individual support. So I decided my students would benefit from working with an online writing mentor.
I pitched the idea to some of my friends and posted my request on Facebook. The response was quick. It took just one week to get each of my students a mentor.
Their task: Log on Google Docs every Tuesday and spend 15-20 minutes offering suggestions, making corrections, and noting trends in grammar.
Yes, you read that correctly: Every Tuesday — from September through May.
Their dedication was deep; their commitment was impressive. I am grateful. So are my students.
Some mentors reported early on that reading and responding to their student’s essay took far longer than 20 minutes per week. That’s probably true, especially if you’re not a teacher and have high standards. (To survive, teachers learn to get through papers in 10 minutes or less.)
Despite the time commitment, the mentors pushed through. Some weeks were tough. After all, it’s never fun to read an essay that seems worse than the previous one. But overall, the mentors were impressed by their student’s growth in writing.
This year, my students wrote 16 essays. They feel accomplished. Although they understand they must still improve, they’re proud of their growth in writing.