Mentoring Groups

Mentoring is a professional development opportunity that the Carpentries offers our growing instructor pool to help community members learn and grow.

Mentoring Groups support instructors in a variety of ways. Whether you are a new instructor preparing to teach your first workshop, a seasoned instructor hoping to launch workshops in a new community, or an instructor excited about getting involved with lesson development and maintenance, mentoring groups will help you gain the confidence, technical skills, and teaching skills you need to reach your goal.

Mentors guide small groups of no more than five mentees toward a particular outcome. Outcomes might be anything from teaching a specific lesson (i.e. Version Control with Git) to making a meaningful contribution to one of our lessons.

Mentoring Groups Outline

Groups are encouraged to set SMART goals to be achieved. The following are sample mentoring group outlines. Groups are free to decide how to spend their time.

Sample Mentoring Group Outline: Lesson Maintenance

  • Introductions, review the Carpentries community culture, and communication channels.
  • Review and discussion lesson objectives.
  • Meeting with Lesson Maintainers to discuss challenges and opportunities.
  • Review, discuss, and comment on lesson issues. Identify a representative to attend the mid-way touch base.
  • Review, discuss, and comment on lesson pull requests.
  • Discuss current challenge questions. Write new challenge questions to be added to the pool of challenge questions.
  • Submit new challenge questions as pull requests. Draft one slide for the mentoring group showcase.
  • Finish slide for mentoring group showcase. Attend mentoring group showcase.

Sample Mentoring Group Outline: Teaching Workshops

  • Introductions, review the Carpentries community culture, and communication channels.
  • Review and discuss instructor notes.
  • “Tag-team” teaching each module of the lesson. Provide feedback to group members.
  • First mock quarter/half day workshop with group members. Identify a representative to attend the mid-way touch base.
  • Second mock quarter/half day workshop with group members. Draft one slide for the mentoring group showcase.
  • Finish slide for mentoring group showcase. Attend mentoring group showcase.

Sample Mentoring Group Outline: Organizing Workshops

  • Introductions, review the Carpentries community culture, and communication channels.
  • Introduce existing workshop resources. Identify challenges for organizers.
  • Walkthrough of workshop set up using checklists. Discuss workshop planning tools, e.g. Eventbrite, spreadsheets.
  • Identify potential issues and how to resolve them, e.g. ‘no shows’, CoC violations, refunds. Identify sources of help.
  • Draft one slide for the mentoring group showcase. Identify a representative to attend the mid-way touch base.
  • Identify resource gaps, e.g. issues that are not covered by existing checklists and procedures.
  • Finish slide for mentoring group showcase. Attend mentoring group showcase.

Sample Mentoring Group Outline: Community Building

  • Introductions, review the Carpentries community culture, and communication channels.
  • Discuss desired local outcome. Discuss existing community, if any. Identify stakeholders and potential supporters.
  • Discuss community building methods used elsewhere (e.g. ResBaz, Hacky Hours, MeetUps, communities of practice).
  • Discuss the use of communication tools such as Slack and Gitter channels.
  • Identify a representative to attend the mid-way touch base.
  • Draft one slide for the mentoring group showcase. Identify a representative to attend the mid-group touch base.
  • Draft a plan for a local community building event that includes a marketing strategy.
  • Review plans collectively. Identify gaps or further resources needed.
  • Finish slide for mentoring group showcase. Attend mentoring group showcase.

Mentoring Groups Highlights

We are offering curriculum-specific mentoring this time around. Both mentors and mentees can choose which tools they are most interested in from the following list:

  • Git
  • Shell
  • Python
  • R
  • SQL

Once a topic has been picked, participants can choose the type of mentoring they want for their chosen tool:

  • Lesson Maintenance
    • Contributing to current lesson development
    • Contributing to lesson maintenance
  • Teaching Workshops
    • Developing confidence and skill in teaching
    • Preparing to teach a specific lesson (i.e. Python)

We will also offer mentoring that is more general in nature. For those who would like to develop greater skill in community building, either of these mentoring opportunities might suit:

  • Organizing Workshops
    • Logistics of organizing a workshop (e.g. marketing, registration)
    • Logistics of running a workshop (e.g. recruiting instructors, distributing tasks)
  • Community Building
    • Strategies to build local communities
    • Tried-and-true events that help foster local communities

An additional highlight includes the opportunity to participate in in-person mentoring groups.

During the final week of the mentoring groups, we will host a virtual mentoring groups showcase. During this event, the community can hear about the projects on which the mentoring groups worked.

Lastly, both mentors and mentees will receive a certificate!

2018-2019 Schedule

Mentor Agreement

I agree to follow the Code of Conduct in all communications and interactions with The Carpentries community and to promptly report any violations of the CoC that I become aware of.

When interacting with my mentoring group, I agree to

  • communicate The Carpentries community values to mentees and model that behaviour myself in how I mentor,
  • provide a welcoming and supporting environment for mentees,
  • avoid dismissive language, question my expert blind spot, and model error-making as a vital part of the mentoring process.

I understand that it is important to keep in touch with The Carpentries community so that my mentorship will reflect current practices. I agree to:

  • stay active in one or more Carpentries communication channels,
  • keep up-to-date with changes to the lesson(s) I teach, and
  • provide feedback to the Mentoring Subcommittee and Carpentries staff to help continue improving our mentoring groups.

Mentor Onboarding

Mentoring Groups Recruitment Strategy

  • Recruitment
    • Mentoring groups are open to any individual who has completed Carpentries instructor training.
    • Community members who have taught fewer than two workshops (or no workshops at all yet) are invited as mentees.
    • Certified Carpentries instructors who have taught three or more workshops are invited to lead mentoring groups.
  • Activities & Timing
    • Mentoring groups run for between eight and 12 weeks.
    • Kari Jordan will hold a mentoring groups ‘touch base with mentors’ halfway through the 8-12 week period.
    • Mentors and mentees will be asked to complete a short survey halfway through the 8-12 week period.
    • The 8-12 week period will end with a virtual showcase.
    • Mentors and mentees will be asked to complete asecond short survey at the end of the mentoring group period.
  • Exposure
    • A mentoring page will be added to The Carpentries’ website with information on how to join a mentoring group.
    • Members will be added to groups, and new groups will be formed, on a rolling basis as needed, at the discretion of Kari Jordan.
    • The Mentoring Subcommittee will be instrumental in getting the word out about mentoring groups.

Mentoring Groups: Guidelines for Certificates

Mentors

  • Attend a mentoring onboarding session.
  • Attend regular meetings with your mentees.
  • Attend the virtual showcase.
  • Attend the power check-in.
  • Complete the post-program survey.

Mentees

  • Attend at least two mentoring meetings.
  • Attend the virtual showcase.
  • Complete the post-program survey.

Mentoring Groups Roles

Mentees

Responsibilities

  • Communicate with your Mentor about your goals and needs.
  • Attend scheduled meetings and participate actively or let your Mentor know you won’t be attending.
  • Be respectful of other Mentees and Mentors. Provide a safe space for questions and mistakes.

Requirements

Be either a newly certified Carpentries instructor or be in the process of completing certification. Generally Mentees will have taught one or no workshops, but may have been helpers before.

To Participate

To join the mentoring program as a mentee, complete this form.

Mentors

Responsibilities

  • Decide on a meeting schedule with your Mentees.
  • Personalize meetings based on Mentee’s needs and desires.
  • Respond promptly to emails from your Mentees.
  • Follow up with Mentees who miss meetings.
  • Be respectful of Mentees. Provide a safe space for questions and mistakes.
  • Report Mentee attendance and progress to mentoring coordinator.

Time commitment

~4 hours/month for 3-5 months (or longer if accepting new Mentees). This breaks down to about 2 hours prep, 1 hour meeting and 1 hour answering emails per month. Variable depending on meeting frequency and prep time.

Requirements

Certified instructors who have taught at least 2 workshops.

To Volunteer

To join a mentoring group as a mentor, complete this form.

Mentoring Coordinator

Responsibilities

  • Recruit mentors and mentees for the Mentoring Program.
  • Pair Mentors and Mentees based on responses to Google form surveys.
  • Send email introductions for each mentoring team.
  • Follow up with each mentoring team on a monthly basis and ask if there’s anything you can do to help.
  • Keep track of program completion rates to assess success.
  • Get feedback from Mentors and Mentees about program.

Mentoring Groups Virtual Showcase

The Carpentries’ community is invited to participate in a Virtual Showcase of our mentoring groups’ projects. These will be scheduled at the end of each mentoring group term.

  • What to expect: Each group will present one slide outlining something they learned or completed with their mentoring group. We will also answer questions from the community and discuss the benefits of mentoring.
  • Why attend: Be inspired by the projects of your global community members! Be empowered to start a new project, contribute to a lesson, or prepare to teach a lesson. Explore the benefits of mentoring and being a part of a global community.

Sign-Up

Please visit this Etherpad to view notes from past meetings or sign up for upcoming meetings.

Contact

For information regarding the Carpentries Mentoring Groups, e-mail Kari L. Jordan. To join the next Instructor Development Committee meeting, sign up via this Etherpad.