To accommodate this wide range of contexts and uses, we settled on the following terms:
Mentor and Mentee are pretty well understood words, though they may not be terms used in your context. For instance, the experienced teachers who mentor Student Teachers are sometimes called “Host Teachers,” “Cooperating Teachers” or “Master Teachers.” In other places they are referred to by acronyms (we educators love acronyms!) that only have meaning locally. In Torace, we sometimes refer to mentors and mentees together as an event’s Participants.
We like the terms “mentor” and “mentee” because, depending on the scenario, an individual person can be either! A teacher leader may be a mentor to a first-year teacher, but may be the mentee of an Assistant Principal if working on an administrative licensure. On the Torace platform, you can have different roles in different events and even in different institutions simultaneously.
Events are a critical component of Torace. Again, we aimed to be as universal as possible in our choice of language. An “event” in our system, encompasses all steps that lead up to matching a mentor and mentee for a mentoring relationship and may include the period of the relationship and any post surveys or follow-ups as well. So, for instance, sticking with Student Teaching as an example, in the middle of Fall semester, a district may launch the process of making matches for the Spring semester. The event would begin when the district administrator invites participants and would stretch through all the stages of matching. The district administrator may close the event when matching is completed or leave it open until the spring semester is over and any exit surveys are done.
A Torace Event Administrator is the staff member who creates the event and makes the matches. An institution may have multiple Event Administrators who collaborate to make matches or who divide up work in ways that make sense in their context. For some districts, a central office administrator determines the placements for the whole system, and in others, coordinators are assigned by site, school-clusters or pools.
What is a Pool? A pool is just a flexible category that helps to define who can be matched with whom. Each institution using Torace can create their own list of pools, using terminology that will be intuitive to their participants.
There are other important terms that will become familiar once you are a user of Torace. Terms that are relevant to each user role are defined in the “Help” section when logged in.