In2science mentors undergo vigorous training to prepare them for a placement with Victorian secondary school classrooms. A learning tool we love to use before entering a class is storytelling. At each training session, In2science invites past mentors to join coordinators in building the connection between verbal instruction and practice. Returning mentors reflect on their placements of previous semesters, sharing their experience and advice to help the new cohort feel empowered and confident before beginning their first placement.
Chukwunonso Anyaoku, a PhD candidate studying Chemical Engineering at RMIT University, joined In2science in 2021 and offered his valuable insight to the 2022 cohort of eMentors. Like many university students, Chukwunonso was looking for a job to support himself and when finding In2science, took some time to decide if it was something he wanted to pursue at the time. In the end, he discovered that the opportunity he was given, money could not compensate. It was more valuable than he ever realised.
Chukwunonso is an eMentor. eMentors support small groups of students with online mentoring and Chukwunonso’s first placement was with one student. In his first placement he was paired with, what their teacher described as, a reserved and shy student from Virtual School Victoria. However, due to the tailored nature of the eMentoring model, Chukwunonso was pleasantly disappointed. His eMentee quickly came out of their shell, “the placement takes on the personality of you and your mentee. It eventually ends up being your world and you can bend and shape things to your strengths.”
To his fellow eMentors he shared 4 discoveries:
- Use all the resources at your disposal. Your greatest resource at the beginning is the teacher. The teacher already knows what the student may be like, what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are. Ask the teacher and you can hit the ground running.
- In2science training works. Sometimes there are curveballs but remember your training. It is priceless.
- You get to form a real connection with a small group of students (in eMentoring). It allowed me to craft the sessions to my eMentee’s benefit.
- Expect pleasant surprises. For me, it was discovering that mentoring provided emotional security for my student. The session will take on the personalities of you and your eMentees. You yourself more at home than you thought possible. You will also find that your anecdotes are so appropriate. It is an authentic experience.
If you are a university student interested in mentoring for In2science, click here.
If you are a teacher, click here to host a mentor in your classroom.