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.
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.
Your Responsibility As A Mentor:
- 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
While establishing a friendship may sound easy, it often is not. Adults and youth are separated by age and, in many cases, by background and culture. Even mentors with good instincts can stumble or be blocked by difficulties that arise from these differences. It takes time for youth to feel comfortable just talking to their mentor, and longer still before they feel comfortable enough to share a confidence. Learning to trust-especially for young people who have already been let down by adults in their lives-is a gradual process. Mentees cannot be expected to trust their mentors simply because program staff members have put them together. Developing a friendship requires skill and time.
What are the qualities of an effective mentor? Here are some important features of successful mentor’s attitude and style:
- 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.
(Adapted from Building Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Relationships: Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities, 2007)
Why does Power 4 Youth insist that you & your mentee regularly spend a portion of your time reading? Here are top 10 reasons for you & your student to understand why reading is important & how it can be beneficial.
- 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
In order to make productive use of the last days of school, try following advices: