Below are tips and hints to assist mentors as they work with their mentees. Compiled by Match Supervisor Samana Budhathoki, we hope the information is useful in creating a most successful mentoring experience, no matter what stage of the relationship.
Establishing Relationships with Your Mentee’s Family
In the beginning…Developing appropriate relationships with your mentee’s family is often quite difficult. Parents don’t always understand the mentor’s role and therefore may not know how to relate to you. Parents may be threatened and try to prevent you, even in very subtle ways, from developing a relationship with their child. Sometimes the opposite may occur. Families may feel so overwhelmed with the task of child rearing that they may ask more and more of you in terms of helping out. It’s important to build trust with your mentee and the family, as well as strike a balance with regard to your involvement.
As the relationship develops…
If there are problems..
Source: The Wisdom of Age: A Handbook for Mentors
(Side note: Think back to when you were a teenager. Would you be willing and open to sharing your secrets with someone who was close to your parents? May be not! Power 4 Youth’s policy advises to have minimal contact with parents. It is not your job to work with your students’ parents. Neither should parents be telling you what to do, under any circumstances. If you ever have any issue on this regard, the first go-to person is your site supervisor– since they are always around at the sites. After that, please contact your match supervisor.)
Motivate Your Student’s Learning After A Break
Returning from a break before the school year ends is hard for mentors and students. Whether one used break for fun or work, getting back on track and regaining momentum are essentials for successfully completing the semester. Motivation is a factor that both mentors and students must nurture. As a mentor and a role model, you have a role in producing motivation. Here are some tips to stay motivated for yourself and your student.
Stay Motivated Yourself:
Read Full Article: How Mentors Can Stay Motivated After A Break
Motivate Your Student’s Learning after Spring Break:
Read Full Article: Motivation After Spring Break
Study Tips To Make Final Exams Prep Less Stressful
Share these helpful tips with your mentee. They will definitely need these strategies as their finals are approaching. Finals week can be a stressful time for all students; thus knowing how to properly prepare for finals is the key to avoiding stress and acing every single exams. How can you help to lower your student’s exam-stress and know that he/she is on the right track to excel in each course? Well, here are some proven methods that will have your student focused and better prepared for final exams.
P.S. If you’re a college student-mentor, these may work for you as well:
To Read More:
20 Tips To Talk To Teens
10 Tips to Help Your Teen Get a Job
1. Narrow the Field: Start the job search by helping your teens identify their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses and the type of work they’re interested in.
2. Help with the Hunt: Encourage searching online, calling and visiting businesses to ask if they’re hiring. Networking with friends and colleagues – and their friends’ parents and colleagues – also can play a vital role in uncovering unadvertised opportunities.
3. Promote Out-of-the-Box Thinking: If traditional employment is impossible to find, teens can use their expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to start their own businesses, such as babysitting, lawn mowing or even tech support. Some ideas for neighborhood self-employment include:
You can help your teen figure out what to charge for such work by calling competitors and asking for their rates. However, the bottom line is that your teen should feel good about what they earn for their effort. You’ll also need to guide them through taxes, since they’re subject to self-employment taxes if they make more than $400 a year.
4. Give Them a Paycheck Reality Check: Money is important to teens, but unrealistic expectations or cocky attitudes about their pay could derail their efforts. Believe it or not, minimum wage is a good base salary for teens. After that, if they want more, they have to realize raises and promotions are merit based.
5. Offer Your Proofreading Services: Résumés and job applications are a prime opportunity for your mentee to stand out. Critique the résumé, but don’t be critical. Without work experience, your student can instead list academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, volunteering experiences and technical skills. You can offer to help your mentee design and write résumés. Pacific Gateway Youth opportunity center can also provide great help for job search and résumé building. At the very least, mentors can offer to proof their student’s résumés and applications for misspellings and grammatical errors.
6. Walk Them Through a Mock Interview: Offer to role play to practice interview skills. After a few sessions with you as a potential boss, your mentee will be more confident for the real thing. But don’t mock them in the mock interview. The best thing a mentor can do to help their student find jobs is provide encouragement. Also, you can teach them how to dress appropriately for a professional job interview. Applying for jobs can be a discouraging process and mentors need to help their mentees be positive and persistent.
7. Don’t Coddle Them: Remember this is your student’s job search, not yours. Provide support and tools they ask for, but don’t do it all for them. You’re not allowing them to grow and learn when you coddle them. An employer isn’t going to want to hire someone who can’t do work on their own.
8. Encourage Thank-yous and Follow Ups: Explain to your mentee that sending thank-you notes after an interview – even for the most menial job – is a great tool to set them apart from the competition. It shows they’re both polite and interested in the job. Also, if your student hasn’t heard back from an interview within a couple days, urge them to make a follow up phone call. It will help ease your student’s possible anxiety, remind an interviewer that they’re still interested, and let them move on to another interview if they didn’t get the job.
9. Keep Them Safe, Not Sorry: Your student may find a job that you dislike, but it’s okay. It’s about them and we should bite our tongue unless the work is dangerous or unsavory. Our only responsibility is to make sure our students take jobs where they can be safe and comfortable.
10. Utilize The Resources That Are Available: You and your mentee can together visit Pacific Gateway Workforce Youth Opportunity center, a public agency serving Long Beach, Signal Hill, and the Los Angeles Harbor communities. Youth Opportunity Center works to connect youths to employment, internship and growth opportunities by providing various workshops, programs and trainings for job search, professional skills and youth development. Check out Pacific Gateway Youth Opportunity Center, located at 3447 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807.
Teaching the growth mindset
There’s scientific evidence that neural connections grow and become stronger the more you struggle with learning and correct your mistakes. Based on research by Stanford Professor, Carol Dweck and her colleagues, we know that students with a growth mindset– the belief that intelligence is not just something that you are born with-have higher levels of success than those with a fixed mindset. Teaching your students about this concept has the potential to make them grittier, more positive, and more successful in their careers and everyday lives.
Watch a short video here: Carol Dweck, “Developing a growth mindset”
How to Motivate Your Mentee to Focus On School?
Notes from our Mentor Workshop Ask A Tutor With Belinda Watson
- Ask for your mentee’s purpose/dream/interest. If he/she doesn’t have any, help to build one.
- Assist your mentee to define a mission statement. Once you have a mission statement, help to make it happen. Recall SMART goals.
- Create a vision statement with small things that will ultimately lead to achieving the main mission/goal.
- Advice to take responsibility of their past to mold their present and future. You can do a quick activity using statements like: Today I am _______________ I take responsibility for _______________ My future is ___________________.
- If your mentee has short-focus span, ask him/her to take quick breaks. If the longest he/she can focus is 10 mins, so be it. Remember, quality over quantity.
- Introduce timers to determine study/break times.
- Propose the idea of Alpha and Beta task. Alpha task is everything major required to do to acquire a goal. For example, it is absolutely required to study to pass an exam. Here, studying is an alpha task to obtain the goal of passing an exam. Beta task is anything that can compliment to achieve the objective. For instance, keeping a planner to formulate study schedules can definitely be helpful to pass an exam, however; it is not a necessity/requirement. Thus, keeping a planner is a beta task.
- Communicate and reach out to your mentee in the most genuine way you can. This is your relationship, only you can make it special.
- Remind your mentee: “Yes! You can.“
- Encourage to adopt helpful time management and organizational skills like using timers and keeping planners.
- Ask/Look for resources to help your mentee. However, do not solve his/her problems. In other words, help your student become self-reliant rather than dependent on you.
8 Types of Asset that All Youths Need. From A Mentee’s Point of View.
1. Support: Experiencing people and places that are accepting & loving.
- Do things with me
- Try to understand me
- Never give up on me
- Listen to me
- Love me
- Show me you care about my school work
2. Empowerment: Knowing they are valued and valuable.
- Teach by example
- give me ideas & feedback
- Let me make my own decisions
- Accept & understand my mistakes
- Give me a voice
3. Boundaries & Expectations: Understanding the limits & possibilities.
- Be a role model
- Be supportive
- Help me grow to be an individual
- Ask me where I’m going
- Be concerned
- Be Aware
- Challenge me to succeed and comfort me when I fail
4. Constructive Use of Time: Being involved in enriching and structured activities.
- Inspire me
- Help me balance my time
- Let me have time for freedom
5. Commitment to Learning: Believing that education is important & engaging.
- Feed my interests
- Welcome me
- Pay attention to me
- Respect me
- Help me treat school as if it were my job
6. Positive Values: Caring for others & holding high standards for self.
- Accept me, no matter how different I am from you
- Use common courtesy
- Be honest with me
- Help me act from my ideals
- Be honest with yourself
7. Social Competencies: Developing skills & relationships for life.
- Be a good role model
- Teach acceptance & respect so we won’t have to learn tolerance
- Show me how to turn strangers into friends
8. Positive Identity: Believing in their personal power, purpose, & potential.
- Celebrate my uniqueness
- Help me find my talents
- Help me to learn to be happy with myself
- Give me sincere compliments
- Encourage my success & lift me up if I fail
Building Relationships: A Guide For Mentors
- Be a friend: Don’t act like a parent. Don’t try to be an authority figure. Don’t preach about values. Do focus on establishing a bond, a feeling of attachment, a sense of equality, and the mutual enjoyment of shared time.
- Have realistic goals and expectations: Focus on the whole person and his/her overall development. Especially early on, center your goals on the relationship itself.
- Have fun together: Throughout the relationship, emphasize friendship over performance. Many youth involved in mentoring programs have few opportunities for fun. Having fun together shows your mentee that you are reliable and committed.
- Give your mentee voice and choice in deciding on activities: Give a range of choices concerning possible activities. Create ideas together. Listen. Emphasize to your mentee that her/his enjoyment is important to you. If your mentee is extremely reticent and you feel as though you have to play the lead role in choosing activities, you can say that you want the activities to be fun with his/her participation.
- Keep Boundaries: Once young people are comfortable enough to request activities, they might make requests that are extravagant, such as asking you to buy them clothes, books, food. Do not set any expectation that you may not be able to fulfill each time you meet. Feel comfortable about setting clear limits with regards to money and gifts.
- Be positive: Offer frequent expressions of direct confidence. Be encouraging even when talking about potentially troublesome topics, such as grades. Offer concrete assistance.
- Let your mentee have much of the control over what the two of you talk about-and how you talk about it: Don’t push. Be sensitive and responsive to your mentee’s cues. Understand that young people vary in their styles of communicating and their habits of disclosure. Be direct in letting your mentee know that she or her can confide in you without fear of judgement or exposure. Remember that the activities you do together can become a great source of conversation.
- Listen: Just listening gives mentees a chance to vent and lets them know that they can disclose personal matters to you without worrying about being criticized. When you listen, your mentee can see that you are a friend, not an authority figure.
- Respect the trust your mentee places in you: Respond in ways that show you see your mentee’s side of things. Reassure your mentee that you will be there for him/her. If you give advice, give it sparingly. If you give advice, be sure it is focused on identifying solutions. If, on occasion, you feel you have to convey concern or displeasure, do so in a way that also conveys reassurance and acceptance. Sound like a friend, not like a parent/teacher.
- Remember that you are responsible for building the relationship:Take responsibility for making and maintaining contact. Understand that the feedback and reassurance characteristics of adult-to-adult relationships are often beyond the capacity of youth.
- Expands Vocabulary. While reading, we can learn new words & new ways to use words we already know. It is proven that being well-spoken is beneficial in both social & work situations.
- Improves Analytical Thinking. Reading a good mystery novel or thriller will keep us trying to figure out what happens next & to whom!
- Improves Imagination. Unlike TV, while reading a book we have to use our imagination to picture the surroundings & what the character may look like or sound like.
- Improves Memory. Remembering character names, plot & other twists or backstory the author may have included creates new synaptic pathways & strengthens existing ones.
- Reduces Stress. Studies have shown that as little as 6 minutes of reading can reduce a person’s heartbeat & relieve tension.
- Builds self-esteem.The more we read, the more knowledgeable we become, & in public discussions we will feel more confident voicing our opinion.
- Increases knowledge. The more we read about a subject, the more we will learn about it, & if we read enough we can become an expert!
- Increases Empathy. Reading biographies & eyewitness accounts can help us better understand the decisions made by actual people.
- Helps Understand Culture. Reading about different countries & cultures, especially those we would like to visit or interact with, will save us from any embarrassing faux pas.
- Provides Endless Entertainment. No matter what we are interested in, a book has been written about it & we just might learn something we didn’t know!
Why does Power 4 Youth emphasize & encourage journal writing? Here are some reasons why we practice journal writing:
Ways to Use Meeting Time During the Last Two Weeks Of School