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Carpentries Mentoring Groups

Mentoring is a professional development opportunity that The Carpentries offers our community to foster growth and development.

Mentoring Groups support the community in a variety of ways. Whether you are a new instructor preparing to teach your first workshop, a seasoned instructor hoping to launch workshops in a new community, or an instructor excited about getting involved with lesson development and maintenance, mentoring groups will help you gain the confidence, technical skills, and teaching skills you need to reach your goal.

Mentors will guide small groups of no more than five mentees toward a particular outcome. Outcomes might be anything from teaching a specific lesson (i.e. Version Control with Git) to making a meaningful contribution to one of our lessons.

Current Cycle Dates: August 13 - November 8, 2018

  • Applications Open: August 13th
  • Info Session: August 20th Sign Up
  • Applications Close: August 31st
  • Mentees Placed In Mentoring Group beginning September 5th
  • Mentor Onboarding: September 6th
  • Mentor Power Check-In: October 11th
  • Mentoring Groups Virtual Showcase: November 8th

Carpentries Mentoring Groups

Applications for both mentors and mentees are open. Mentor applications are open to certified instructors who have taught at least two workshops. Mentee applications are open to community members who have taught less than two workshops. Mentees will be added to mentoring groups as applications are received. Mentor applications are received ongoing, but mentor onboarding occurs every 3-4 months.


Carpentries Mentoring Groups Highlights

We are offering curriculum-specific mentoring this time around. Both mentors and mentees can choose which tools they are most interested in from the following list:

  • Git
  • Shell
  • Python
  • R
  • SQL

Once a topic has been picked, participants can choose the type of mentoring they want for their chosen tool:

  • Lesson Maintenance
    • Contributing to current lesson development
    • Contributing to lesson maintenance
  • Teaching Workshops
    • Developing confidence and skill in teaching
    • Preparing to teach a specific lesson (i.e. Python)

We will also offer mentoring that is more general in nature. For those who would like to develop greater skill in community building, either of these mentoring opportunities might suit:

  • Organizing Workshops
    • Logistics of organizing a workshop (e.g. marketing, registration)
    • Logistics of running a workshop (e.g. recruiting instructors, distributing tasks)
  • Community Building
    • Strategies to build local communities
    • Tried-and-true events that help foster local communities

An additional highlight includes the opportunity to participate in in-person mentoring groups.

During the final week of the mentoring groups, we will host a virtual mentoring groups showcase. During this event, the community can hear about the projects on which the mentoring groups worked.

Lastly, both mentors and mentees will receive a certificate!

Carpentries Mentoring Groups Outline

Groups are encouraged to set SMART goals to be achieved. The following are sample mentoring group outlines. Groups are free to decide how to spend their time.

Sample Mentoring Group Outline: Lesson Maintenance

  • Introductions, review the Carpentries community culture, and communication channels.
  • Review and discussion lesson objectives.
  • Meeting with Lesson Maintainers to discuss challenges and opportunities.
  • Review, discuss, and comment on lesson issues. Identify a representative to attend the mid-way touch base.
  • Review, discuss, and comment on lesson pull requests.
  • Discuss current challenge questions. Write new challenge questions to be added to the pool of challenge questions.
  • Submit new challenge questions as pull requests. Draft one slide for the mentoring group showcase.
  • Finish slide for mentoring group showcase. Attend mentoring group showcase.

Sample Mentoring Group Outline: Teaching Workshops

  • Introductions, review the Carpentries community culture, and communication channels.
  • Review and discuss instructor notes.
  • “Tag-team” teaching each module of the lesson. Provide feedback to group members.
  • First mock quarter/half day workshop with group members. Identify a representative to attend the mid-way touch base.
  • Second mock quarter/half day workshop with group members. Draft one slide for the mentoring group showcase.
  • Finish slide for mentoring group showcase. Attend mentoring group showcase.

Sample Mentoring Group Outline: Organizing Workshops

  • Introductions, review the Carpentries community culture, and communication channels.
  • Introduce existing workshop resources. Identify challenges for organizers.
  • Walkthrough of workshop set up using checklists. Discuss workshop planning tools, e.g. Eventbrite, spreadsheets.
  • Identify potential issues and how to resolve them, e.g. ‘no shows’, CoC violations, refunds. Identify sources of help.
  • Draft one slide for the mentoring group showcase. Identify a representative to attend the mid-way touch base.
  • Identify resource gaps, e.g. issues that are not covered by existing checklists and procedures.
  • Finish slide for mentoring group showcase. Attend mentoring group showcase.

Sample Mentoring Group Outline: Community Building

  • Introductions, review the Carpentries community culture, and communication channels.
  • Discuss desired local outcome. Discuss existing community, if any. Identify stakeholders and potential supporters.
  • Discuss community building methods used elsewhere (e.g. ResBaz, Hacky Hours, MeetUps, communities of practice).
  • Discuss the use of communication tools such as Slack and Gitter channels.
  • Identify a representative to attend the mid-way touch base.
  • Draft one slide for the mentoring group showcase. Identify a representative to attend the mid-group touch base.
  • Draft a plan for a local community building event that includes a marketing strategy.
  • Review plans collectively. Identify gaps or further resources needed.
  • Finish slide for mentoring group showcase. Attend mentoring group showcase.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the mentoring groups please contact Kari L. Jordan.