Joanna (Asia) Jaros, Class of 2014, Biological Sciences and Spanish double major
Joanna Jaros has been a mentor in Searle’s Academic Mentoring Program (AMP) for several years. She writes here about her experiences facilitating a small group of students in an introductory-level course:
My favorite part of AMP is the knowledge that I have contributed to the success of a fellow student in the course and inspired self-confidence in and outside of the classroom. One of my first students had really struggled initially in the course. After joining AMP, she ended up succeeding in both the study sessions and the course. She really became a powerful presence in the classroom and confident in her abilities – and she subsequently became a mentor herself. I felt so proud that I had been able to contribute to her success in the course, and to inspire such an enthusiasm for it!
I see my role as a mentor as a facilitator and instigator rather than a “dictionary of answers.” I have found that my students get more out of teaching and reviewing with one another, rather than listening to me review the PowerPoint slides.
I am also the “last resort” or “panic button” for students the night before the exam when last-minute doubts or questions arise. I strive to make myself available via email on a daily basis to answer any questions or simply to offer motivation and support.
It is my deep conviction that any student can succeed in the course with hard work, good study habits, and the proper preparation. I like to foster an environment where my students feel comfortable “getting the wrong answer” or debating a certain concept in a constructive way. My goal as a mentor is to empower my students to approach the material with a positive attitude and help them develop the right set of tools to succeed.
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