Events Group Proposal to the Team Reps: WordCamp Mentorship Program

Please review the below and comment with any questions, suggested changes, or general feedback. Sorry this is so long; I hid a few silly comments in there as easter eggs in case that’ll motivate you to read the whole thing. Thanks!

The main goal of the WordCamp Mentorship Program (WCMP) is to pair new WordCamp organizers (mentees) with veteran WordCamp organizers (mentors) to help provide guidance and advice through the process of organizing a WordCamp, from initial planning to post-camp wrap-up. Currently, Andrea is the only official guide/mentor for WordCamp organizers – bottleneck city! This program will provide additional people to help organizers plan within the guidelines and according to best practices.

How We Think It Should Work

The program will be administered by a small group of moderators who will match mentors and mentees, monitor the progress of the mentor/mentee relationships, and suggest adjustments to the program as necessary.

Moderators, who are to be approved by the Team Reps, should be individuals who are actively engaged in the WordCamp organizer community. These folks will be expected to be able to fairly assess mentors and provide appropriate guidance. (These moderators will probably also serve as the first crop of mentors.)

The IRC chat room will be used for weekly chat sessions to be led by the moderators. They will cover the administrative aspects of the program, such as approving applications and pairing mentors/mentees, as well as sometimes discussing the progress of the individual mentors and the program as a whole.

1.) Add language to the New Organizer Application and to plan.wordcamp.org

You will be matched with an experienced WordCamp organizer to mentor you and help you navigate the steps of planning your event within WordCamp guidelines.

2.) Recruit WordCamp mentors

Previous WordCamp organizers who would like to be mentors will be asked to fill out an application before they can be approved to mentor. Team Reps, or the Event Group Team Reps, will be responsible for vetting/approving mentors. It’s important to have a lot of trust in the mentors, as they’ll be in a very influential position with new organizers.

To qualify as a mentor, one should meet the following criteria:

  • Has previously organized a WordCamp that was on budget and had generally positive reviews
  • Still follows WordCamp guidelines
  • Agrees to offer advice and resources consistent with WordCamp guidelines

Previous mentorship experience helps, but would not be required.

Mentor Application

  • Your Name: (text field)
  • Your WordPress.org username: (text field)
  • Your last WordCamp’s location: (text field)
  • Your last WordCamp’s size: (text field)
  • Why are you interested in mentoring a new organizer? (textarea)
  • What, if any, mentorship experience do you have? (textarea)
  • What super-power do you prefer: invisibility or flight? (multiple choice)
  • Would you be willing, if able, to travel to a WordCamp in another city to mentor on the day of the event? (yes/no)
  • I still meet the eligibility requirements to be a WordCamp organizer. (yes/no)
  • I agree to offer advice and guidance consistent with WordCamp guidelines. (yes/no)

3.) Match a mentor to the mentee

For experienced WordCamp organizers, Andrea will remain the main point of contact for guidance/check-ins. For new organizers (including lead organizers who served on their WordCamp’s organizing team on a previous year), a mentor will be assigned to them from the mentor pool. In assigning a mentor, the moderators will consider factors like time zone, size of WordCamp, and the amount of time the mentor has available.

Mentor and mentee will be introduced, and will be given the following information:

The Mentor/Mentee Relationship
To have a successful mentor/mentee relationship, both sides must communicate regularly and effectively. It’s up to the pair to decide what form this takes, but both sides should schedule regular check-ins and be available to ask/answer questions, get on the occasional Google Hangout, Skype Call, conference call, IRC Chat, telepathic wavelength, etc.

Mentors will be encouraged to attend their mentee’s WordCamp, if possible.

Mentors and mentees will be expected to have regular communication with each other through means that they will decide between themselves. This can take the form of conference calls, Skype chats, Google+ Hangouts, etc. If either party feels that the other is not communicating regularly enough, they should reach out to the moderators for assistance.

Mentor Expectations
WordCamp Mentors work to support new organizers and help them make their event a success. A mentor:

  • Respects the mentee’s thoughts and ideas,
  • Helps the mentee define and achieve their goals,
  • Communicates clearly and regularly with the mentee,
  • Offers advice and resources that are consistent with the WordCamp guidelines,
  • Provides guidance constructive feedback without giving orders,
  • Is ready to say “I don’t know,” but is willing to help find the answer, and
  • Participates regularly in the WordCamp Mentors’ P2.

Mentee Expectations
Mentees are new organizers who:

  • Take responsibility for achieving their goals,
  • Communicate clearly and regularly with their mentor,
  • Share ideas, and is ready to debate their merits,
  • Incorporate guidance and feedback from their mentor,
  • Follow the WordCamp Organizer guidelines.

Communication
The main resources for communication between the moderators and mentors will be the P2 blog located at http://wordcampmentors.wordpress.com/ and the IRC channel #wordpress-events on irc.freenode.net.

Mentors will use the P2 blog to communicate between each other and the moderators. This blog is a resource for questions, documenting best practices for mentoring, and linking to other resources.

4.) Post-event feedback

Upon completion of the event, mentors and mentees will be asked to fill out an Exit Survey to help assess their performance as an organizer or mentor, and to help determine what, if any, changes to the Mentorship Program can be made. Moderators will be provided official rulers for wrist-slapping.

Mentee Exit Survey

  • Your Name: (text field)
  • Your WordPress.org username: (text field)
  • Your WordCamp location: (text field)
  • Number of attendees: (text field)
  • Your Mentor’s Name: (text field)
  • Do you feel like your mentorand you were a good match? (radio yes/no)
  • If yes/no, explain why. (text area)
  • Would you recommend this mentor to others? (radio yes/no)
  • Please explain. (text area)
  • On a scale of 1-3, please rate the following: (radio buttons)
  1. How well did your mentor communicate with you? (1 – not well, 3 – very well)
  2. How available was your mentor to help you? (1 – never, 3 – anytime)
  3. How much did your mentor’s advice help with your event? (1 – it didn’t, 3 – helped a lot)
  4. Did your mentor listen to your concerns? (1 – never, 3 – always)
  5. Did your mentor provide appropriate direction? (1 – never, 3 – always)
  • What other feedback do you have? (text area)

Mentor Exit Survey

  • Your Name: (text field)
  • Your WordPress.org username: (text field)
  • Your Mentee’s Name: (text field)
  • Their WordCamp location: (text field)
  • Your last WordCamp location: (text field)
  • Do you feel like your mentee and you were a good match? (radio yes/no)
  • Explain why. (text area)
  • How did your mentee do as a WordCamp organizer? Please explain. (text area)
  • On a scale of 1-3 please rate the following: (radio buttons)
  1. How well did your mentee communicate with you? (1 – not well, 3 very well),
  2. How available was your mentee to be mentored? (1 – not available, 3 – always available)
  3. How well did your mentee take appropriate responsibility for their event, but still incorporate some of your advice? (1 – not well, 3 – very well)
  • Rate the overall quality of the event. (1 – poor, 3 – amazing)
  • What other feedback do you have? (text area)