In the Middle School (Grades 6-8), each child becomes part of a small group of fellow students and adult teacher-mentors who meet daily to assess student progress, set goals, and focus on the development of essential study and organizational skills.
The goal of the Middle School Mentor Program is to provide each student with a chief advocate and guide whom they meet with each day.
Mentors meet with their students for 30 minutes each day after the students’ social studies and science classes and before their language arts and math classes. The Mentors help students reflect on what has happened in various classes and begin to formulate an understanding of their individual approaches to learning. Mentors also help students set goals, monitor their progress toward their goals, get started with homework assignments, and connect with their teachers if they are having difficulties in a class.
The same mentors typically work with students during their entire middle school experience so that a relationship of trust is built that fosters open conversations that promote the development of self-advocacy and self-regulation.
Mentors keep parents apprised of their child’s progress on the transformative journey to becoming confident and strategic thinkers capable of success in school and in life. They are the primary contacts for each student’s parents, as they have the “big picture” of the students' work in each class and can inform parents of problems and successes. Parents are encouraged to contact their child's mentor if they have questions or concerns about their student's progress, or to check in to see how the student is doing.
I believe that the heart and soul of Benchmark are the mentors. Mentors are teachers who work with students individually to help us succeed and make Benchmark feel like a real community.
Van Tingley '13