How it works

Big Picture offers a unique learning environment where every student has a personalized learning plan with the opportunity to complete explorations and projects connected to their interests and passions. We are always looking for mentors to support our students with these endeavors.

As a mentor, you can provide guidance and share knowledge in various ways to positively impact a young person on their learning journey.

From delivering talks about your career, innovations, and life journey, offering workplace experience, advice on project work or an academic critique of a student’s Senior Thesis Project, being a mentor is a rewarding way to connect with emerging learners and help them achieve their education goals.

Mentoring Snapshot

What is a mentor?

A mentor is someone experienced, passionate, and skilled in areas linked to a mentee’s interests and lines of inquiry. They can impart knowledge, skills, ideas, feedback, and critique to help mentees progress and achieve their learning goals.

What is a mentee?

A mentee is someone keen to learn from a person in the field who has experience, passion, and skills in an area of interest they’re exploring. They can learn in different ways, take on feedback and ideas effectively, and be confident in engaging with someone able to help them progress their learning goals.

Mentoring relationship skills

Listening, observing, questioning, demonstrating, showing mutual respect, sharing ideas, using effective communication, being organized, setting and reflecting on learning goals, using creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership development, working in partnership, linking to community, showing gratitude. These are the skills we see as invaluable to the relationship dynamic between a mentor and a mentee.

All Ages Mentoring

Below is an outline of how interest exploration and project work develop across a student’s schooling years and the potential roles mentors can offer at each stage. It is a general guide that can be adapted based on the student and mentor’s individual needs.

Primary Years: K to Year 5

Short activities and one-off experiences that engage students with a range of topics and ideas.

Mentor Role: run classroom activities (e.g. 30-minute drawing class), provide 1:1 advice to students about their personal interest project work.

Middle School: Years 6 to 8

Students typically spend one to two hours per week on personal interest projects, excursions, guest speakers, and work units covering a range of topics.

Mentor Role: deliver talks about their career, innovation and life journey, provide 1:1 advice to students about their personal interest project work.

High School: Years 9 to 12

Students increase the time spent on their personal interest projects, workplace internships and when in Year 12, their Senior Thesis Project.

Mentor Role: offer workplace experience, provide 1:1 advice to students about their personal interest project work, conduct an academic critique of a student’s Senior Thesis Project.