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How Managers Can Support Program Managers

In the iMentor program, Program Managers (PMs) are managed by Program Directors whose main role is to support PMs in their program implementation and support of mentor-mentee pairs. PM managers use data and observations of PMs to assess program outcomes and make decisions that optimize program quality, drive participant impact, and ensure parity and model fidelity to achieve organizational outcomes. PM managers also help to integrate the iMentor program at school partner sites. PM managers are vital to program implementation, as they help PMs to prioritize a multitude of competing daily tasks, act as a sounding board and thought partner for delivering quality differentiated pair support, and help develop working relationships with school staff and leaders that will support the PMs’ work in the classroom.

PM Manager Role Overview

While the exact responsibilities of PM managers will vary across organizations, the below articles summarize the responsibilities and qualifications of Program Directors in the iMentor program and list the key administrative tasks they are responsible for. They can serve as a launching point to think about the roles you would like PM managers to take on in your organization.

Ways Managers Can Support PMs

  • Strengthening & Managing School Partnerships - PM managers play a key role alongside the PMs in integrating the iMentor model into the culture of the school by building relationships with school staff and administration. PM managers often:
    • Take the lead on setting up official meetings & check-ins with partner school administration
    • Visit the school for informal or formal check-ins and classroom observations each month
    • Attend monthly events to observe and support PMs and to network with school staff
    • Address ways to deepen the school partnership, including finding ways for PMs to participate in school meetings, parent nights, extracurricular events, awards nights, field trips, etc.
    • Share data/pair stories/photos with administration
    • Keep partner schools updated on a monthly basis with program participation data

  • Classroom & Event Observations - PM managers visit their PMs' classrooms several times a semester and a few events a year to observe their teaching/facilitation and provide them with specific and timely feedback.

  • Weekly/Monthly or Regular Check-In Meetings with PMs - PMs and their managers in the iMentor program have weekly check-in meetings to discuss how the program is running at the PM’s partner school site. These meetings are often facilitated by an agenda and can include:
    • Curriculum implementation and pair support
      • Reviewing the lesson plan template for the week ahead, including making relevant updates to scope and sequence
      • Discussion of upcoming events: How are preparations coming along? What does projected attendance look like? Is anything needed in addition to regular materials? Do resources need to be revised and/or edited? How did the last event go?
      • Discussing PM’s relationship and workflow with cooperating classroom teachers
      • Managing/prioritizing PM workload
      • Discussion of partner school updates: PMs share information about upcoming school events, changes, etc. Managers share any insights that PMs may not be aware of based on meetings with school leadership.

  • Data Management/Tracking/Reporting
    • Looking at program participation data together and discussing trends 
    • Talking through both successful and challenging mentor-mentee pairs and the pair support necessary to support them
    • Review of program-wide trends and updates