Today I started another volunteer program with the local Community Writing Center. In addition to mentoring/monitoring a writing group twice a month, I will now be doing Salt Lake Teens Write which I think will be both rewarding and extremely challenging for me. In addition to a handful of workshop participations between now and May 31, I will be meeting every week with the student to mentor them.
I trained for this last week and the training wasn’t drastically different from training for the group mentor program. Today was our kick off party and I met my student. She goes to Cottonwood High and seems to have the main goal of becoming better at English (speaking and writing according to her) and to receive some help with homework. So far all I know is that she plays soccer and loves to do a lot of things. She also wants to learn to draw and be better with art in general.
Aside from acting as some kind of tutor I hope she realizes I am there to help break through to her creative side and have some fun. By March both of us are supposed to have a piece ready to publish in the yearly anthology and by May we are supposed to have a complete portfolio of work for her to turn in as her school year’s writing progress.
We both seem somewhat shy and there are certain aspects of mentoring teens that can be expected – like they pay more attention to their phones than the task at hand. But I think as we get to know each other even better we will have some fun.
I’m excited to have a weekly gig that will keep me on track with my own writing as well as be able to help someone with theirs. If anything I feel like I’ve come to the table overly prepared for things we might do and after meeting the student I may have to rethink how to approach things. It will be different than I expected and in many ways more challenging. We will both need to break out of our shells which is always rewarding but seldom easy.
Any suggestions for teen writing prompts, genres, or activities are welcome?!?