Initiate Communication

Online Teachers

Initiate contact with online instructors to introduce yourself and take care of the following matters:

  1. Identify any ALE-funded students to the teacher so that expectations are clear on how requirements will be met.
  2. Share helpful information about the students, including any IEPs, 504 accommodations, or special needs the students may have.
  3. Let the instructors know about any local vacation, holiday, or early dismissal dates that might affect the students' attendance or progress through the course work.
  4. Exchange days and hours that you can reliably reach each other by phone and email.
  5. Communicate any exam proctoring procedures and grade deadlines that may be dictated by local policies.
  6. Be proactive with technology and course-related troubleshooting, being sure to communicate student difficulties to the course teacher while facilitating the students doing so themselves.
  7. Contact the online teacher if you think a student might need an extension to successfully complete a course (though you may need to work with DLD or course provider staff to execute the request).
  8. If a student is unexpectedly absent, the teacher may contact you. Work with the teacher and student to facilitate a catch-up schedule.

Let your students' online instructors know that you will be working with the students and helping to motivate, support, and encourage them. The extent to which you interact with an instructor will largely depend on the student and how motivated he or she is, but let instructors know that you will touch base with them regularly by email or phone (weekly is recommended).

Counselors and Parents

As a Mentor, and as far as your school and parents are concerned, you will be acting as a sort of surrogate teacher for your students. Since you will be the primary contact for students at school, you will regularly communicate with school counselors and parents; what this communication entails will depend on your school's policies. Here are some of the things you may be expected to do:

  • Keep parents and counselors informed of student progress.
  • Participate in parent/teacher conferences.
  • Discuss student grades.
  • Advise parents of general technical issues for students working on home computers.
  • Notify your school's DLD Registrar of a student's intent to drop his/her course.

Some of the providers have the ability to send parents or “learning coaches” periodic status reports. Some give the parent/coach a logon to the course system to check student status online. How the parent/coach information is set up in the course system varies. Look for information about this feature in the Mentor orientation or instructions.