What our current peer mentors have to say
“Being a peer mentor has brought me more opportunities than I ever expected. There is no experience quite like this one. I was given the opportunity to be a moderator at the 26th National Congress on Rural Education. Not only have I connected with other U of S Education students but with some amazing employees from our university. Connecting with your college makes your experience that much more personal and meaningful."
"The opportunity had taught me so much about being a teacher. You learn how to manage your time and how to improve your teaching every week."
"Take the risk! It might sound scary, but it is an amazing opportunity! You can do it! The peer mentor training team will be beside you the entire time!”
“I have been able to meet so many cool, charismatic, and funny people among all the Peer Mentors, as well as gained more confidence in speaking at the front of the classroom- something all teachers need to be comfortable with."
"I have felt an improvement in the LC content over the last four years, and find I am learning so much as a Peer Mentor, compared to being a student. I am excited to use lots of what I am learning now in my upcoming years.”
“Peer mentoring has taught me many valuable skills that have helped prepare me for teaching in K-12 classrooms. As a Peer Mentor you learn how to conduct yourself as a leader in the room. This role teaches you how to successfully engage students in a classroom, build relationships, manage time, and teaches you the importance of staying organized in your plans."
"Most importantly, Peer mentoring has allowed me to help foster a community environment for future educators!"
"My undergraduate program experience was enhanced because of my role as a Peer Mentor.”
“Being a peer mentor gave me opportunities to not only be in a leadership position, the opportunity to meet other Ed students who were in my year, but arguably the most important thing that being a peer mentor did for me was giving me the ability to grow to be more confident and comfortable with being in front of a group of individuals and honestly just talking with other people. I was incredibly shy at the beginning of my third year, and I still am really shy, but there has definitely been some growth.”
“As a peer mentor I had the opportunity to practice speaking to a group of students and to get familiar with doing so. I also had the opportunity to support first year students and answer some of their questions that they are often scared to ask."
"Being a peer mentor also relieved some of my stress going into my practicum because I had gained experience teaching. I highly recommend becoming a peer mentor to gain leadership and teaching experience and to also make connections with other teacher candidates.”
“As a peer mentor I was able to grow in my understanding of technology used this year to work with students. It can be challenging at times if the group isn't very talkative, but this gives you an opportunity to work on those skills as you may need them for future classrooms."
"It is rewarding to be able to support others and help answer their questions or to help them find the answers somewhere else.”
“Being a peer mentor has provided me the opportunity to make connections with other people in the college along with developing my practice in regard to becoming an educator."
"It's given me various strategies for teaching and has allowed me to learn from guest speakers and those I've mentored."
"For anyone who is debating becoming a peer mentor just do it! It is the best opportunity you'll ever get to practice teaching, make a new friend with your co-peer mentor or those in your learning community, and help guide first and second year students through their first couple years of university.”
“ I was able to make connections with people in my year and that has been amazing with remote learning and COVID. As for preparing me for the classroom, I found that the biggest thing it has prepared me for is timing lessons. Determining how long this discussion will take or how long this activity will take.
"It has also helped me start being able to read a classroom and determine if I need to have a longer wait time or if the students are ready to move on to the next topic or if they need more clarification on a topic. It was also really nice to get used to talking to a classroom full of people before I entered my classrooms for 321.”
“I was able to learn how to teach in front of people no matter what was going on in my life, how to build relationships with your peers/students, and was able to take many teaching risks and I was able to see what works and what doesn't work."
"Being a peer mentor helps you become prepared for teaching as it replicates what it would be like in schools, talking to your administration, collaborating with others and the general teaching responsibilities. It is a great opportunity to have experiences that put you ahead of others just from learning more about the college and the resources from the lessons you teach, and your experiences from instructing learning communities.”
“Peer mentorship allowed me to gain some practice in the field of teaching before heading into my practicum. If I did not have experience being a peer mentor, I believe I would have to spend my first practicum becoming comfortable in front of students, finding my voice, and searching for ways to connect with others. Instead, I already had experience in these basic areas and have shown my cooperating teacher I am confident in my ability to teach as I knew how I wanted to approach students and the profession.”
“Learnt how to plan a lesson over WebEx, which has been great addition to my technology skills. Learning how to speak in-front of a group and students and also collaborate with students, staff, and other peer mentors has been valuable to me in furthering my ability to communicate professionally. I have also gotten feedback from students about certain strategies for presenting and doing attendance to make meetings fun and engaging."
"If someone was considering becoming a peer mentor, I would say it’s a great idea, you get lots of resources, many ideas you can implement in your own future classrooms.”
“For me personally this was a great opportunity to build connections and guide future teachers on their path to becoming an educator."
"When I was in first year and in learning communities I remember my peer mentors guiding me extremely well. They made me feel like I was not alone in the chaos of my first time experiencing University. I remember thinking then I want to be able to do that for other students in the education program and here I sit."
"Being a peer mentor has gave me the opportunity to build personal connections, make friends, find new resources, and be more personally involved within the education program. It prepared me for teaching because it gave me the confidence in myself to speak out-loud, share my thoughts and guide people. I recently just had a girl ask me in our last meeting how I became a peer mentor. I stated the process and explained the peer mentor community is like no other. The friends and laughs you build is truly amazing. But also helps you as a future educator to build confidence and carve your way to becoming a teacher."
"The process is great and rewarding as a peer mentor.”
“Becoming a peer mentor has had a huge impact on preparing me for teaching, especially in this online world that we are living in. I was intimidated at first but decided it would be a great first step to take in the journey of becoming a teacher."
"This experience has allowed me to gain confidence in many areas, such as instructing, technology, troubleshooting, speaking in front of peers, leadership and so much more. Even after being a student in a learning community, I still feel like I have learnt so much through being a peer mentor and leading others throughout the different weeks. Becoming a peer mentor has allowed me to connect and collaborate with other education students and has given me the opportunity to become a part of this amazing community of colleagues.”
“As a peer mentor, I got confident talking in front of a group of people. This became very helpful in my internship as I was extremely nervous before starting but was more comfortable than I previously had been because of my time as a peer mentor."
"I also learn so much from the presenters as a peer mentor because this is something that is applicable to my life right now, and I will be looking forward to using it next year.”
“As a peer mentor I have gotten to know other college of education students and form a community. While leading the learning communities it provides me with positive experience talking in front of a group, reading lesson plans, coming up with activities, and communicating with students and peers. I also have found that it has given me a practice to adapt quickly if something doesn't go as planned, which is something you also have to do when in the classroom."
"This year I found it extremely helpful as we got WebEx training. I felt confident using WebEx in other classes, as well as for my student teaching. I always like it when we have guests come in as it's another way to create connections and get to know people involved in the college or in schools.”
“Being a peer mentor, this term has been one of the best decisions that I have made."
"Peer mentorship has allowed me to collaborate with my fellow colleagues to help students in the College of Education understand the importance of working together to make a difference and aid each other in our future teaching careers. The experience has helped me develop confidence in teaching in both a classroom and in a virtual setting; create and reaffirm stronger relationships with my colleagues; and gave me the opportunity to develop personally and professionally.”
“Being a peer mentor allowed me to work alongside like-minded individuals who wanted to push themselves to grow as leaders in a safe and comfortable environment. I also really enjoyed the opportunity being a peer mentor gave me to go out of my comfort zone in being a leader for other young adults, like myself, which has helped me feel more comfortable when I have had subbing opportunities in the older high school grade level.”
“Not only are you helping new students find their way, but it is also an excellent opportunity for you as the mentor. It is a risk free environment to practice your public speaking, to learn how to carry yourself in front of the group, to try and experiment engagement strategies, and so much more! Highly recommend.”
“To someone who is considering being a peer mentor even just a little bit I would say do it. It is a one of kind experience. You are not only getting experience in a teaching format, but you are building connections and relationships with guests, other peer mentors and the students involved in your learning community. It can be intimating but I have found that the students involved love having a place where they can communicate with one another, especially in the online format.”
“My work as a Peer Mentor has been essential to my development as a future educator. Through this experience, I have gained confidence in the language of instruction and have strengthened my time management, organizational, and interpersonal skills. In particular, I have gained a much greater knowledge and appreciation for effective online instruction, which I believe will continue to be a key skill for educators. This program was not only beneficial to my professional development, but my personal growth as well.”
“Being a peer mentor opened up so many doors. Not only did it allow me to engage with teaching more, it allowed me to talk with other students and gain their perspective on concepts."
"The resources we are introduced to are phenomenal, and just the sheer joy of seeing everyone once a week makes it all worth it. We've all heard this saying before, but it really applies to Peer Mentoring; You get out of it what you put into it."
“As a peer mentor, I was able to collaborate with others in order to plan engaging activities for students, as well as getting more comfortable talking to big groups. With everything online this year, I have also become better orientated with technology which is a skill I will take with me into the classroom.”