Tiffany Pryor is a teacher, the Fine Arts Department Chairperson and NEA-Topeka Building representative at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kansas. What does she think about how students might increase their personal traction? For one, she is currently working on a project with her students through the innovative use of mentors provided by the International Telementor Program. To gain even further insight into her teaching mindset, we asked her all about it before she got rolling—and discovered how the right approach to learning can sometimes make all the difference:
What is your vision for using mentors with this content?
Tiffany: My vision with matching my Graphic Design students with mentors was to share knowledge about the subject, provide helpful resources for a project, and provide both negative and positive feedback on tasks. Completion of a project with input and teamwork from an outside adult was also part of my vision.
What are your expectations regarding skill development for your students?
Tiffany: For my students to gain an understanding of the career, what it takes to become a graphic designer, and the history of graphic design. In addition, I wanted my students to be able to communicate with another adult, other than myself, to gain insight into the subject. Sometimes students think teachers are just babbling about nothing, but when another adult reinforces our knowledge we all learn and gain credibility.
In your view, what do the mentors get out of this?
Tiffany: In some cases a headache—just kidding! I hope the mentors gain a little experience in young people and the things they must deal with at school and with some, outside of school. Issues cause students to react in many different ways in their daily work. Most professionals outside the education field don’t understand what happens with young people in education today. I also hope they feel a sense of accomplishment helping these students be successful at something educationally. It should also give them a feeling of being proud that they are participating in making a difference.
Alright, great insights! Thanks and have fun, Tiffany! We’ll catch up with her again upon project completion, so check back often for an update.