February, 2020 | Issue No. 1

Where is the Learner?

Ask yourself as a learning facilitator - where is the learner? Is s/he physiologically ready to learn?  Is s/he getting enough sleep, enough to eat, and living in an acceptable environment? Maslow has provided a great model for us to use when assessing the learner.  Connects U! is full of information that will assist the Learning Facilitator in providing supports for the learner.


Who Will You Mentor?

Most successful people have had a mentor. Even those who seem to be strong leaders on their own have been impacted by a trusted advisor who guided them along the way. For example, Abraham Lincoln, who we tend to think of stoic, strong and independent, was influenced by his mentor, William Mentor Graham. Who is your mentor? Who will YOU mentor?


Listen to the Learners

Recently, a group of learners and teachers joined IU8's Dr. Malynda Maurer at statewide educational conferences to share their experiences with mentoring. Educators attending the conferences were able to hear directly from students to learn about the value of mentoring. The learners did a spectacular job presenting, and we appreciate their contributions!

See the videos from these conference sessions.


focus on six important skill domains,

✓ address over 30 different topics,

✓ are modular - use parts you need most,

✓ are customizable - copy and edit, and

✓ can be used with individuals or with groups of learners.

This Month's Featured Lesson

Making Decisions

Making the right decision is important to our lives. Have you made good decisions or bad decisions?  This lesson will help you learn how to make good decisions.

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Most learners are experiencing rapid change, new landscapes for living (and learning), and changes in society that are impacting their lives. The focus in education has been on curricular content and testing, but as the infographic below shows, today's world requires a different focus: fostering self-actualization.

When educators focus solely on content, something important in the development of the learner is missed. Curricular content does not help educators understand the context in which the learner lives their life. A deep understanding of the learner's context can only occur when educators employ empathy in their practice. Assisting learners to move toward creating their own definition of success is the epitome of self-actualization. As education moves toward the goal of self-actualized learners, the traditional school setting provides very little in the way of modeling the skills, discipline, mindset, and content consistent with becoming self-actualized.

Creating the conditions in which the skills, discipline, and mindset needed for learners to thrive in the 21st century is the goal of Connects U!

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Every successful person has had a mentor.

Even those who seem to be strong leaders on their own have been impacted by a trusted advisor who guided them along the way.

Abraham Lincoln, who we tend to think of stoic, strong and independent, was influenced by his mentor, William Mentor Graham. Graham ran the schoolhouse in New Salem, Illinois and helped Lincoln develop his math, language, and debating skills. It was during these years that Abraham Lincoln first ran for public office. This period of Lincoln's personal development was undoubtedly shaped in part by Graham's mentor (Greer, n.d.).

A mentor is a trusted guide who advises and supports the development of another person.

Mentoring young people is important because it positively and directly improves the mentees' life, which in turn benefits others around them. Researchers have found that children with a mentor are more confident academically, and less likely to have behavioral problems (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2013).

Other famous mentor pairings include:

  • Steve Jobs is said to have mentored Mark Zuckerberg. After Jobs passed away in 2011, Zuckerberg posted "Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

  • Thomas Jefferson (3rd U.S. President) mentored James Monroe (5th U.S. President) Monroe frequently sought advice from Jefferson regarding foreign policy.

  • Dean Smith (NBA Coach) mentored Michael Jordan (NBA Superstar). Jordan said Coach Smith was the most influential person in his life other than his parents.

For more famous mentor pairings, visit the Peer Resources Mentor Hall of Fame website.

Who has mentored you on your journey of life? Who will you mentor?


Carr, R. (2019, November). Peer resources' Mentor Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from https://www.mentors.ca/mentorpairs.html

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2013, January 15). Youth mentoring linked to many positive effects, new study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 6, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115143850.htm

Greer, W. Lincoln's mentor, ExploreKYHistory, accessed February 7, 2020, https://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/135.

McPherson, J.  (2000, February). Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865), sixteenth president of the United States. American National Biography. Retrieved 7 Feb. 2020, from https://www.anb.org/view/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.001.0001/anb-9780198606697-e-0400631

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