When Tracy Edwards posted on Facebook last October that she was searching for a part-time writing instructor for a middle school program, Kip Glazer jumped immediately at the chance.
But Glazer wasn’t applying for herself. Instead, she envisioned her 100 senior high school English students, who were about to become virtual writing mentors to 200 6th-graders halfway across the nation.
“I require them to do peer-to-peer editing, but I wasn’t quite getting the results that I wanted” when seniors helped other seniors, said Glazer, who found Edwards through a Facebook group created for online graduate students of educational technology at Pepperdine University. Both women are students in the program.
“When [Edwards] said ‘6th grade,’ I felt like this could really work,” Glazer said.
So far, her students at Independence High School in Bakersfield, Calif., have appeared invested. Since late November, each student has mentored five 6th-graders enrolled in the Digital Youth Network’s social network-based writing curriculum digital at three separate Chicago charter middle schools. That ratio allows every 6th grader to receive advice from multiple mentors.
Glazer’s two sections of AP English Literature and Composition and two sections of California’s college-prep-focused Expository Reading and Writing Course spend one class period weekly in a