Happy National Mentoring Month from iD Tech!

iD Tech in action

We’re celebrating our rockstar instructors and the impact of their mentorship!

January is National Mentoring Month, and we know the power of a great mentor—we see it in action every day! It’s the perfect time to reflect on why mentorship is so important and its power to positively impact young people. 

After all, with a great mentor, anything is possible.

Let’s take a closer look at National Mentoring month, its origins, and its importance in 2020.

What is National Mentoring Month?

Since 2002, January has been designated as a time to recognize and honor mentors in the US.

To borrow words from former President Barack Obama, “During National Mentoring Month, we honor all those who continuously strive to provide young people with the resources and support they need and deserve, and we recommit to building a society in which all mentors and mentees can thrive in mutual learning relationships.”

Just think back in your own experience to someone you admired, learned from, or spent meaningful time with as a child or teenager. A teacher or coach perhaps, or a family member or one of your first bosses; our mentors sometimes never know how profoundly they impact us. 

(For ideas of how to send some appreciation a mentor’s way, check out National Mentoring Month’s website!)

What makes a great mentor: The iD Tech Difference

In honor of this occasion, we’d like to highlight what great mentors do differently and the qualities that distinguish the role models that make a life-changing impact. 

Our amazing instructors are not only tech experts; they boost kids’ confidence, inspire a love of learning, and nurture students’ growth while having a lot of fun.

But, don’t take our word for it: check out these real testimonials from parents and students who have experienced the iD Tech mentorship difference. 

Great mentors create a lasting impact

A good role model may make a short-term difference in someone’s life, and those impacts can be incredibly important! It’s another matter entirely, however, to give a gift that continues to give throughout an individual’s life. Students who have reached L10 Status at iD Tech have experienced this through multiple years of iD Tech mentorship.

"After reflecting on my time with iD Tech, I knew it would be a vital part of my profile during my application process, and I believe the letter of recommendation will help boost that. As different college admissions offices look at my profile, I think they will really be able to see the value in this letter. Not only does it reflect my extensive work and experience with iD Tech, but it also shows the great effort they put into developing the next generation of aspiring STEM students." -Neev L. L10 Status Student & Aspiring Computer Science Engineer

Great mentors create contagious enthusiasm

Setting a positive, enthusiastic tone from day one is of the utmost importance. The real magic lies in keeping it going!

“Our instructor was amazing! Her patience and enthusiasm for all things coding was contagious. My 10-year-old daughter now enjoys coding and is looking forward to her private lessons.” -Elena P., parent

Great mentors have patience

It can be so tempting to run with your agenda on your schedule, but great mentors know better. It’s critically important to let the learner set the pace and the results speak for themselves. 

“The Instructor was very engaging and took time to answer questions. She spent time working with each child and was very patient. Her enthusiasm for the topic was helpful and Michael has been spending time working on his stories/drawing this entire weekend. He is so excited about learning more about this area.”  -Wendy K., parent

Great mentors inspire excitement & readiness to share

When a child is excited to share their skills with their family and community, a role model’s work is (almost!) done. 

“My son was completely engaged for the hour of instruction, and has been eager to show off his new skills to his family and friends! His instructor was patient and very clear. I was impressed with how he was able to Zoom-teach Minecraft to a pretty young child. Already looking forward to our next lesson.” -Nicole S., parent

Great mentors help students create authentic masterpieces

There are wonderful teachers and professors out there who teach their students to emulate their style; it takes an extraordinary person to help students find a style that is authentic to themselves. 

“Over a dozen private sessions later, the iD Tech instructor still makes it fun for my daughter to learn. She used Java code to create a custom potion in Minecraft that had random but VERY powerful effects. One drink and she shot like Supergirl off the edge of the planet, the other drink shot her into orbit...we both laughed so hard we cried. This is what iD Tech learning is all about, fun for the kids and parents alike.” -Erik A., parent

Great mentors increase kids’ independence

The “aha!” moment can be fleeting, so it’s all the more important to look for sustained effort. That’s an indicator of a lifelong change in the student. 

“This has been a great program! My kids love their classes! They had their lesson over two hours ago and are still working on their coding in Minecraft! I don’t even have to convince them because they have so much fun doing it! Thanks so much!” -Keara H., parent

Great mentors infuse the learning experience with joy and fun

There’s a reason most kids look forward to recess more than their traditional classes, or any learning experience/sport practice for that matter. So, when there is genuine anticipation and enthusiasm for learning, the mentor has created a really special environment. 

"Aidan was so patient with my son and the other two elementary school-aged children in his class. I was really impressed with how he was able to engage the students and how much my son looked forward to class each day."  -Xtine B., Parent

Great mentors inspire lifelong learning

When kids realize the wide world of a field they love, they’re able to expand their skills and achieve their full potential. 

“My instructor did a perfect job of making sure we were always having fun on top of what we were learning. I am TOTALLY inspired to keep learning and coding!”  -Nicholas M., student

Great mentors boost kids’ confidence

For a kid to come out of their “shell,” they have to feel safe and valued. The best role models help each child find their confidence and sense of belonging. 

“Benji is incredibly shy, but by the end of the class he was having a great time. Instructor built a friendly community in a very short time—great job!” -Chelsea T., parent

How to celebrate National Mentorship Month

As our awesome iD Tech instructors demonstrate, there are a multitude of ways in which a mentor can positively impact a child’s life. That certainly gets us thinking about how to thank the mentors in our lives (kids and grown-ups alike)! 

This month, consider penning a thank you note for a mentor in your life and encouraging kids to do the same! January 29th is Thank you Mentor Day; check out the National Mentorship Month website for more ways to celebrate!

A photo of Virginia

Virginia started with iD Tech at the University of Denver in 2015 and has loved every minute since then! A former teacher by trade, she has a master's in education and loves working to embolden the next generation through STEM. Outside the office, you can usually find her reading a good book, struggling on a yoga mat, or exploring the Rocky Mountains. 

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iD Tech is the #1 tech camp on the planet, and world leader in youth STEM education, with programs held online and at 150+ global locations (held at Stanford, NYU, Cambridge, and more) offering 50+ innovative tech courses: 

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We've bet our reputation on recruiting the top instructors in the country. Our small classes ensure customized learning, leading to "a-ha moments" and awesome outcomes. Programs include:

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