At Morrison Mentoring, individuals matter. Each student has their own history, their own dreams, and their own barriers to success. Adolescence is a key time when students can not only achieve academic goals, but also lay down thought habits and behaviours which can contribute to well-being as their life unfolds.
School Mentoring begins from the premise that success means something different for each student. During an extended initial consultation between the mentor, student and parents/caregivers, a set of goals tailored to the student is developed. Then, over ten sessions, the mentor and student work together to achieve these goals.
Frequently, these goals are academic, concerned with improving grades or mastering particular subject areas. Tutoring in relevant subjects, such as maths, English or physics, will naturally be part of an overall strategy in achieving such goals, as will auditing the student’s study methods and any beliefs they may hold which are holding them back from success.
Individual goals may also address well-being or behavioural issues, which can range from pre-exam anxiety to frequent consequences for poor behaviour. Coaching from the mentor will help the student address such issues by identifying patterns of thoughts and behaviour which are unhelpful and fostering the key attributes of competence, autonomy, relatedness and the ability to think critically.
School Mentoring is also available for individuals or small groups in a boarding house setting.
The transition from secondary to tertiary education
Sometimes students who have been very successful at school can fall behind when they reach a new learning environment (especially girls - one aspect of the so-called "bright girls syndrome"). Morrison Mentoring can help identify the barriers which limit students' sucess, and work with them to support their learning and bolster their grades in a tertiary setting.
Numerous studies have identified issues faced by international students at Australian universities (see below). International students can find the learning environment in Australian universities quite different to their previous experience, and can find being taught in a second language - and writing assignments or giving oral presentations in English - quite challenging.
Morrison Mentoring can help international students achieve their academic goals in university or TAFE courses.
Lecturers sometimes comment that if they could grade some international students on the understanding they demonstrate during discussions, they could give them far higher grades than their submitted written work warrant; weaknesses in written English diminishes their ability to present cogent arguments. With a Masters degree in teaching English as a Second Language, and having enjoyed academic success across disciplines ranging from theoretical physics to the humanities, Catie Morrison is in a unique position to help international students get the most out of their time at an Australian tertiary institution and maximise their grades.
Arkoudis, Sophie (publication date unknown) “Teaching International Students: Strategies to enhance learning”; Developed for the University of Melbourne by Dr Sophie Arkoudis of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, available in electronic form from http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/ (Accessed 12 May 2011)
Ly Thi Trana (2011) “Committed, face-value, hybrid or mutual adaptation? The experiences of international students in Australian higher education.” Educational Review 63 (1) 79-94 (Affiliation: School of Education, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Storch, Neomy (2008) “What happens to international students’ English after one semester at university?” Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 31 (1) 1-17 (Affiliation: University of Melbourne)