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Student Success Portfolio Program

Mentoring:  The Role of the RTAM Sponsor

October 27th is National Mentoring Day!
Celebrate the day with your family member!

            We recognize that you have all been teachers in order to be members of the Retired Teachers Association of Manitoba.  Most of you have also been mentors without using the formal term to apply to your work to support your students.  In a mentoring workshop, the presenter proposed the difference between teachers and mentors.  Teachers are individuals who instruct students as to what they need to know and mentors are individuals who serve as role models and ask questions to support the student developing critical thinking skills to learn and practice new concepts.

            Mentoring has been defined as “the process by which a trusted and experienced colleague (mentor) takes a professional and personal interest in the development and education of a less experienced, often younger colleague (protégé)”.  This certainly defines the role you will play with your high school family member in supporting them to develop their portfolio. As a mentor, you will play a nurturing role in an ongoing caring relationship with your student. 

            There are three dimensions of a mentor role which most of you will unconsciously take on in our Portfolio Program, resulting from your many experiences as a teacher and leader with students.  The first dimension of a mentor is Service Provider.  The role of Service Provider in our program starts with your discussion with your family member to participate in this program and to sign up using the application form.  You will continue in this role when you communicate with your student on an ongoing basis and provide questions and resources to assist them with their portfolio.  The Support Provider is a natural role in our program.  You will become the confidant for your student, the advisor and friend. One of the goals of our program is that your communication with your student will develop into a long term ongoing caring relationship which will exceed the course of their high school years as they create their portfolio. The Assistance Provider role involves you becoming a collaborator, a coach and a role model for your student.  These three roles or dimensions will be a natural fit for you as the sponsor and our Committee will make efforts to continue to offer you support to fulfil them with your student. 

            October 27th is National Mentoring Day. National Mentoring Day aims to educate, inspire, connect and support mentoring to effect positive change and elevate mentoring throughout the world.  We hope you will contact a family member who is a high school student and start the mentoring process.  This is a “win-win” process for all involved and we believe your student will be so thankful for the mentoring support you offer.  The true value will be most appreciated when your student has at their fingertips all the artifacts of their high school journey found in their portfolio.  These will provide the information the student needs to develop grant and bursary applications, to write cover letters for jobs and to support their university applications to ensure they are enrolled in a post-secondary institution upon graduation!

            Sign up today!  Our Committee is onboard assisting you and your student in this program.  A portfolio will be sent to your student with inserts providing guidance to get started. You will be sent “Monthly Discussion Starters” each month to assist you in your mentor role.  We are here to mentor you through our ongoing website information and upcoming KIT articles! We hope to hear about your mentoring successes, challenges and suggestions in our upcoming research project being introduced this month by our researcher, Andrew Augustyn.  If you are enrolled, watch for his letter of invitation to participate in this exciting research activity!



For those of you who have not yet completed an application to enroll your family member into the Student Success Portfolio Project, below are some reasons to participate in this “win-win” program.  There are benefits for everyone involved!



1.     The project will provide the means and incentive to increase communication between RTAM members and their family high school students they are sponsoring.

1      Portfolios encourage the collection of artifacts and evidence by the student to support their successful writing of award and scholarships applications.

2.     Recognizing the importance of a post-secondary education, RTAM members can feel pride in the role they will play in supporting their family members to be awarded funding to help with the high costs of today’s world.

2      Portfolios help students focus on their knowledge, skills and attitudes to support their successful applications for bursaries and scholarship.

3.     This project will provide RTAM members with an opportunity to experience renewed passion in their roles as teacher and mentor working with their family members.

3      Portfolios help students track their changes and growth in important leadership skills through their high school experience.

4.     RTAM member involvement with their family members will promote positive mental health opportunities during a time when COVID has caused many to experience social and physical isolation.

4      Portfolios assist the student in becoming more aware of their own learning experiences and history.

5.     RTAM member involvement will support a sense of purpose in their lives and offer them a sense of social value to society.

5      Portfolios provide a framework to encourage students’ self-assessment leading to a more accurate choice of how they want to spend their future, their career aspirations.

6.     RTAM members will increase their opportunities to know and understand their youth family members’ challenges and issues while developing a relationship and creating a sense of trust.

6      Portfolios provide a framework with resources for building a resume and completing university/college entrance applications as well as job applications.

7.     RTAM members can offer direct input into the writing of the applications to enhance the students’ chances of being successful.

7      Portfolios save the student the time and agony of trying to recall their experiences and gather all their information to complete applications in their graduating year.


8      Portfolios provide students support to practice informed decision-making regarding their personal and professional opportunity selections.

As you can see by reading this, there are benefits for both of these intergenerational groups, promoting a “Win-Win” situation for all involved!