Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The search for Virtual Mentors: Here's an open letter... I invite you to contact me and invite my students to send you questions by email.

I need mentors.   Mentors bring something "real" into a class.   It's fabulous when an adult visits my classroom.  I like to have a visitor each day.

- Questions from my students
- Rapt attention:  "This is much better than any of your lectures, Mr. Steve."

- Time from your work day to drive to and from my school.
- The hassle of getting "checked out" by the school administrator.

So...  What if you become a VIRTUAL MENTOR?
My students can learn about your work and you can reply to their questions  from the comfort of your office or home.

Here's a letter that I want to write to you:

I'm a math teacher.   I noticed 
(  ) you 
(  ) your car
(  ) your clothes
and I thought, "I bet that person would make a great mentor for my students."

(a) I'd like to show your website / photo / _______? to my class.

(b) I'd like to them to send you questions about your profession:
- how did you get interested in your work?
- how much reading do you do each week?
- what do you read?  magazines, trade publications, newspapers, books, articles?
- where do you get your news from?   (give specific sites and twitter accounts)
- where did you study to become an expert?
- what do you remember form school that helps you in your job at least once a month?
- what was not useful from school?   
- what should we teachers teach (that your teachers forgot to teach you)?

If some of the students want to learn about "what it's like to be (your profession) _________," would you mind if they wrote to you?    What is your email address?


Here's an example of a letter that I sent to an artist in Australia... 

I'm a math teacher.   I was looking for a description of the principles of design and the search "elements of design" brought me to your page http://www.johnlovett.com/test.htm.

Nice page!

(a) I'd like to show your page to my class.

(b) I'd like to show them pieces of your page (screen shots from your webpage) printed on paper.

(c) Then I'd like to make a pdf of the page and give it to them on a USB (Many of my students have access to a computer but they don't have internet service in their homes -- and we lack an internet connection in many of our classrooms).

If some of the students want to learn about "what it's like to be an artist" who has made art a real job, would you mind if they wrote to you?   

Do you have a description about what it took for you to create your "splashing paint" book and disk?   
What inspired you to take time to develop a course?
How much time did it take you to learn how to create uyour website?  (or did you design the site and then someone else put it up and manages it?)
I'm teaching students the skills for the global economy (search "seven survival skills") and it will be helpful to hear what you learned on your own to move ahead in your life.   Some students think that success comes out of textbooks and other students think that they won't have to read much after they leave high school.  "That's the last book I'll ever have to read!"

I enclose my Virtual Mentor book and invite you to become a mentor or at least reply to some of the email messages that you receive.


So, send me your email address and a link to your website so my students can learn about your job and some of them might write to you.  TheEbookman@gmail.com

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