A tool for you to use to structure your calls with your students
You can use this plan to structure the time with your students. But if you've got a better idea, please go with it. These are tools for you to use, not directions to follow.
Welcome & Chit Chat (10 minutes)
Open the session with some chat about their lives and what they've been doing recently. Building a strong relationship with mutual trust and respect is central to the buddy role.
Begin with talking about them but don't be afraid to talk about yourself. Sharing with each other is how we bond. You might like to play a quick game together. We keep a list of developer thinking games you can play online.
Goal Catch-Up (5 minutes)
Make sure you hold your team accountable to achieving the goals you set together. It's important that you show that goals matter and not meeting them has consequences. Learning to prioritise and deliver results is part of what some trainees are learning here.
Recap & Orientation (10 minutes)
It's important to orient yourself to what the trainees have been working on recently so that you can focus your time. Consider running a three minute retro on:
What did they do in the last lesson?
What was the homework for the last lesson?
What did they not understand from the last lesson?
Technical Mentoring (30+ minutes)
For the areas that a trainee did not understand try to pick apart what exactly they did not grasp.
A great approach is Extend & Explainbut you are welcome to use any method you like.
You'll find it helpful to take notes. Remember PEA!
Goal Setting (10+ minutes)
Set goals as a group and hold each other accountable. Lead by example here by setting your own goals, perhaps around feedback on coursework or bringing resources to the group. Set a deadline and make a commitment to each other to meet it.
Goals are a key strategy to push towards growth in a personalised way. It's important your trainees set their own goals, though you should guide them as they learn to do this.
Keep your goals SMART. The goals you set should be achievable in the time everyone has available.
Wrap Up (5 minutes)
For anything that you didn't get to in your mentoring session direct them towards resources to help them. For example
Tell them - not ask them - to share their problems in their Slack channel - work with them on asking technical questions, it's a superpower!
Direct them towards online materials to help them
Tell them to go to a study group or to partake in peer learning when you're unavailable
And finally - schedule follow up calls
Spend your final few moments encouraging them and how well they've done on the session - try to find specific moments that they made progress over the past week. All our trainees work hard and that should be recognised and celebrated.