A Meeting With My Mentor: In-Depth 2016

February 14th, 2016

*This week’s blog post will be going over the topics that were to be covered in both post #2 (How did your mentor gain their experience?  What was that experience like for them?) and post #3 (What went well in your mentor session?  What relationship challenges did you face?  What logical challenges affected your communication?)*

After weeks of frantic emails, searches, and interrogation of other teachers, I have finally been able to get in contact with and have my first meeting with my official mentor, Mrs. McCullough!  Just last Wednesday was her first day teaching at the school so I took it upon myself to go down to her classroom to explain my project and ask if she would be a willing mentor.  I am so happy to say that she said yes!  We decided to meet again at lunch in her classroom on Friday to start the adventure.

Our meeting started out with me explaining the project to her again, this time with more detail.  I used what I wrote in my learning contract as a basis to our discussion—explaining goals, possible challenges, and my hopes for an end result.  We talked about in-depth night and I explained how I want to do live tutorials on the night of.  She helped me set the idea in stone by saying that being more interactive and hands-on for the night will be much more appealing than just showing overused digital media.

I tried my best to stay on track during our conversation by following the outline of my learning contract; however, I could tell that I sometimes rambled on too much or jumped around.  Because I noticed this, I wanted to check with Mrs. McCullough to see if she was following.  She was very honest and open—she was confused.  She explained her understanding of my project back to me, and from there we went over any bits that were not matching up.

After this, Mrs. McCullough confirmed that she would help me out and be my mentor, but she needed me to do something in return.  She told me that I always need to be real and open with her.  If I have something to say, I need to say it without beating around the bush.  I think this is an important part of our relationship because not only will it make our meetings progress efficiently, but it also means that the both of us can be honest with each other when we communicate.  She also asked that for each meeting, I come prepared with a list of topics to discuss and work on.  Instead of just getting into each meeting, I will need to go over our topics of the day to keep us on track.

When she told me this, I realized that what she’s asking me to do will fit straight in with my goals.  I expressed this realization to her and we talked about how being direct is going to be very important for my site as it will help with making things clean and easy-to-follow.  We also discussed how this will positively affect my goal of personal skills in our mentor/mentee relationship.

During this meeting, we also took the time to briefly discuss my general plans for the site, student features (which I have decided to have all as tutorials), looked at a hair tutorial book for reference, planned a regular meeting time, and a common method of communication.

Before we ended, I noticed that I talked a lot about myself for the day.  As she is my mentor, I thought that it would important for me to get to know more about Mrs. McCullough’s during our first meeting.  I asked her about her background of how she got into hairdressing and to where she is today.  She told me that ever since she was young, doing hair was always a part of her.  It was a passion that she didn’t need to think twice about.  Her starting point was doing her doll’s hair as a girl.  I could strongly relate to this part of her story as doing my doll’s hair was where my interest began as well.  From there, her passion for hair only grew stronger.  She went through many different professions but hair was still the biggest part of her.  One of her career areas that she shared with me was being a social worker.  As a social worker, she got to meet a lot of different people with different struggles and she had the ability to use hair one of the ways to help them.  She went on to say that though some don’t see it right away, hair is something that can affect anyone.  With her experience as a social worker, teacher, and hairdresser she has seen the ways that hair can impact people.  How having a good hair day can boost someone’s confidence to new levels.  As a hairdresser this is something she’s had to understand and it’s only given her more advantage to help others.

Overall, our first meeting went very well.  Now that our personal introductions are over, we can soon begin to work with ideas for the site and student tutorials.  Next week, one of the key things I want to get done is learning more about Gleneagle’s Hairdressing Program.  This way, I can get the “About Gleneagle Hairdressing” page finished on my site.  Speaking of which, I also completed the introduction pages for both the site and myself on I’m Hair For You.

To end off my post this week, I want to leave a note for my future self who may be reading this in the years to come.  I would like to remember how proud of myself I was for taking the initiative to find, speak, and meet with Mrs. McCullough.  Going to speak with a teacher that I had no background of was a little nerve-wracking.  Especially, with everything I needed to cover.  However, I did what needed to be done, I survived, and I ended the day feeling both proud and accomplished.  Those two feelings are the best.

And So It Begins… : In-Depth 2016

February 5th, 2016 – Week Four

Homework, projects, tests, and finals.   January went by in a flash, and yet Winter Break feels like ages ago!  Fortunately, through all the January ruckus, I was able to check off some early work I wanted to complete for my in-depth project.

Starting a schedule.

One of my early goals was to lay out a rough schedule to follow for the next few months.  I began by deciding which day I want to post each week (I chose Friday).  I then worked backwards planning each step I will need to complete before the post goes up.  Because I have not yet started posting, I cannot know how well my schedule will work; therefore, I may need to make some changes in the months to come.

Along with a weekly schedule, I also began a tutorial/ posting schedule.  Over the month of January, I was constantly thinking of which of my favourite styles I want to teach.  So far, I have picked eight out of the ten tutorials that will be on my site.  I also left room in my schedule for the Gleneagle student features at the end of each month.

Something else I wanted to do was to take a look at existing hair tutorial sites for reference.  I came across an active tutorial site called Hair Romance.  I really like the formatting on the site as it is very clean and straightforward–nothing too busy.  I didn’t go through too many tutorials because I don’t want to subconsciously “copy” the style in future, but I did take a look at a few for reference.  The tutorial pictures are very clear and taken from an angle looking straight at the subject.  There are no distractions in the background of the photo making it easy to look at.  The instructions are neat and tidy with each step numbered and in bold.  To make things more clear, every step also has extra supporting details.  One thing I am not a huge fan of is how the site has a collage of step-by-step photos at the top of the page but the instructions are placed further down.  As the reader, it was frustrating for me to read the step and then have to scroll back up for photo clarification.  On my site, I hope to put each photo and step beside each other.

A goal of mine that I was unfortunately unable to complete was beginning to work with my mentor and learn about the program.  Because Mrs. McCullough is not yet a teacher in the district, Ms. Kim and I were having difficulties getting in contact with her.  (Although, I did accidentally get in contact with Mr. McCullough, the principal from Pinetree, but he was unfortunately not an expert in the hairdressing field.)  I will need to catch up on this part of my project within the next few weeks when Mrs. McCullough arrives.

One of my trial profile pictures.

Even though one of my goals was not accomplished in January, I was able to get a head start in one of my February goals — I created my website!  There are no posts or pages on the site yet, but I am happy with the look I have given it so far.  To me, it looks very clean and straightforward.  I wanted to stay away from busy patterns and colours, just like I saw on Hair Romance.  Click to visit my site, I’m Hair For You.

Another thing I accomplished was starting an In-Depth specific notebook.  I had no intentions of doing this beforehand, but I felt it would be a good way to sort and separate my thoughts.  Though this is something quite minor, I thought it would be very beneficial and keep me on track.

So far, my in-depth progress is going quite well and I am excited to continue on this journey!


Note: As I have been unable to meet with my mentor, the post #2 questions will be included in my post #3.  This post was only an extra update on my process.