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New Mentor Orientation & Training

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New Mentor Orientation & Training

  1. 1. Community Mentor Program New Mentor Orientation 2019-20 Annie Anderson, BTO Community Mentor Coordinator (FHS) Scott & Anita Locker, Community Engagement Team Leaders Nancy McHarness, Director of Partners for Schools *Evidence Based Practices from MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership’s Research
  2. 2. Agenda for this Training Introductions Why Mentoring? Role of a Mentor/Good fit? Relationship Cycle Program Guidelines Successful Mindset for Mentors Sharing from Experienced Mentors “Success is not a destination—it’s a journey” Mark Twain
  3. 3. Icebreaker Activity Icebreaker Question sheet: choose about 3 questions to discuss with your partner
  4. 4. Why Mentoring? “Adolescence is a difficult time; all youth can benefit from a consistent, caring relationship with an adult.” Benefits to Youth:  improved academic performance and school attendance  increased confidence/self-esteem  Improved communication skills  Less risky behavior/discipline issues  increased career exploration and future planning “Believe you can and you are halfway there.” -- Theodore Roosevelt
  5. 5. Role of a Mentor Who has been a mentor in your life? What qualities did they have? The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” --Nelson Henderson
  6. 6. *Mentoring partnership & resource center A Mentor is . . .  Friend  Coach  Listener  Guide  Role Model  Advocate  Connector
  7. 7. A Mentor is NOT . . .  Judge  Surrogate Parent  Babysitter  Professional Therapist  Taxi Driver or ATM  Academic Teacher  Savior *mentoring partnership & resource center
  8. 8. Personal Characteristics of a Good Mentor  Good listener!  Committed/Stable  Empathetic/Caring  Open-minded/not judgmental  Hopeful/Optimistic  Coachable  Collaborative (fun!) “The Road to Success is always under construction.” --Lily Tomlin
  9. 9. The Relationship Cycle o Beginning—getting to know each other o Challenging/Testing—developing trust o Real Mentoring Begins—deeper relationship o Ending—positive closure “Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” --Nelson Mandela
  10. 10. Guidelines and Boundaries  School based : Meet only at school during school time. School Coordinator facilitates contact  No Agenda: How to discuss “Hot Topics”  Student-led and Student-focused  Faith-based guidelines (if applies)  Do not drive mentee anywhere  Don’t give mentee gifts or money  No Facebook, personal e-mail, or cell phone exchange  Confidentiality Limits: Mandatory Reporting  Confidentiality of Student Records “Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” —Samuel Jackson
  11. 11. Successful Mentors  Why do some mentoring relationships flourish while others fail?  Research says . .  Length + Strength = Better Outcomes  Expectations and Approach matters  Realistic Expectations = Longer Length  Developmental Approach = Better Strength *Mentoring partnership & resource center
  12. 12. Mindset: Doctor or Gardener? What are the characteristics of each?
  13. 13. “Doctor” Approach to mentoring  Focuses on perceptions of youth’s deficits (problems, weaknesses, what they are doing “wrong”)  Gives advice : “You should . . .”  Tries to “fix” the youth  Controls choices and activities . .  Judges youth
  14. 14. “Gardener” Approach to mentoring  Listens and asks questions  Gives “voice and choice”  Focus on having fun  Suspends judgment  Builds support--nurturing  Opens doors
  15. 15. Creating a Supportive Environment Starts with Empathy and Reflective Listening What is Empathy? “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”—William James
  16. 16. Brene Brown on Empathy  Show cartoon video available on you-tube.
  17. 17. Reflective Listening  Helps show empathy  Listen for their feelings and reflect back  “It sounds like you feel . . .”  “I hear that you . . .”  “I’m wondering if . . .” Listen to understand, not to respond
  18. 18. practice  Sample scenarios—how could you approach this?
  19. 19. Sharing from Experienced Mentors “We were all born equal, but where we end up in life later is of our own making.” --Stephen Richards
  20. 20. Sign me up!  Be the One Application  Complete School District Volunteer Electronic Form  Complete Fingerprinting process  Individual interview with Coordinator  Initial Meeting—good fit?  Sign Commitment Contract  Establish meeting times  Check in regularly  Enjoy developing a relationship! “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.” -- Edward Everett Hall
  21. 21. Now what?  Take time to consider if this is a good fit for you. Ask questions!  Resources for you . . .  Thank you! “Find a need and fill it.” -- Ruth Stafford Peak

Notas do Editor

  • Notes: Welcome; 2 hour will be interactive—time goes quickly. Please silence cell phones;
    Explain relationship with Partners for Schools. Point out we have based on program (and this training) on Mentoring Best Practices supported by research. Also mention packets contain resources and more detail. Can take notes.
  • Here’s what we will be covering today—quite a few topics, but will have lots of interaction and discussion. Please be an active participant! Ask questions, contribute your thoughts and experiences to the conversation. Regarding packets—additional resources with more details on all topics we cover today.
  • . We will start by doing an icebreaker activity (in packet)—pair up and choose 3 or so questions to discuss. Give time—then have pairs introduce partner to the group. Thank everyone for sharing.

    Sometimes mentoring can feel one-sided, but many mentors say they get a lot out of the experience. Key—keep a long term perspective. Read and discuss quote: “The true meaning of life . . .” You may not see results in the moment. Research states—most don’t realize impact until about 24 yrs—looking back on teen years. If you have someone who made a difference and haven’t told them yet, do it! They will appreciate hearing from you! Teens/young adults who were mentored by someone = 9/10 say they will become a mentor/volunteer in their community. Mentoring pays dividends to the whole community.
  • Adolescence is very challenging—so many things going on, changes physically, emotionally, becoming an individual, separating from parents and aligning more with peers. (Handout in packet on adolescent development) Both research and common sense supports the benefits of mentoring—no matter how great parents are, all youth still benefit from supportive relationship with an adult outside the family. Benefits to youth have been well-documented in both community based and school based mentoring programs. Listed benefits may not been seen in every student, but strong correlation found in research. We have a Relationship based model (not curriculum). Benefits of mentoring are seen over the long-term. The longer the relationship, the more the benefit.
  • Give a little time to think—ask for participants to share responses. Maybe you never had someone you actually called a “mentor”, but did you have a teacher, coach, youth leader, adult friend or neighbor who played an important role in your life? How did you interact with this person? What did they do or not do that helped you? Motivation to mentors—often because someone mentored them and they see the benefit—or they didn’t have anyone and wish they would have. Discuss quote: essential to have a long-term perspective—life is up and down—you may not know the impact you have had until later. Research indicates—about age 24 that someone has the maturity to look back and recognize who influenced them as a teen. Encourage you to thank someone who influenced you if you haven’t already.
  • Review list: any surprises? Simple definition of a mentor that I use with students: A mentor is an adult friend who comes along beside you to support. They have some life experiences that you haven’t had yet.” That’s it. Highlight importance of REALISTIC expectations—don’t expect to “save” someone or transform their life. Show up with open hands to just be there . . . No agenda
  • As we go through this, be thinking—does this sound like me? Good listener—most important thing you can do. Committed (minimum of one school year—many will do multiple years—82%)—good idea to have in your mind that it might be more than a year. If you know you may be having major transitions, don’t commit. It’s ok to go through training and decide you don’t want to mentor. Empathetic/caring—put yourself in their position, feel with them. Open-minded/not judgemental—youth might be coming from very different point of view/values than you or your family. Have to accept them where they are at. Hopeful—Optimistic—some youth have very difficult lives/circumstances—have to believe that they can move forward in a positive way. Coachable—willing to learn, take suggestions. For collaborative—let student have the most say in how you spend your time together—it’s about them. They need to look forward to your time together and enjoy it. In packet—handouts with more details on characteristics of mentors and tips for being successful.
  • Discuss points of cycle—different for everyone—research suggests up to 6 months in “getting to know each other” real depth may not happen until after the first year. Emphasis on positive closure—essential for student to see as a positive experience—ending early or prematurely can traumatize and undo all the positives! More info in packet on stages of relationship.
  • Boundaries protect everyone; youth and the mentor, both physically and emotionally. Some boundaries are set by the school for liability purposes; necessary to keep the integrity of the program for everyone’s benefit. Some off campus situations are permitted, but only after a relationship has been established and off-campus parent permission is obtained.

    Mentors should not have an agenda or a sure-fire way to “fix” a student. It is important to talk about important issues, especially as you & your mentee develop a trusting relationship. As evident on Facebook, having respectful conversations on, what I call, “Hot topics” is becoming rare and is a skill that should be encouraged, not avoided. What are examples of Hot topics? Mentors usually say politics, religion, anything controversial, etc. The 2 handles when talking about these subjects are 1. Student-led THE STUDENT brings up the topic, not the mentor and 2. Student focused – The conversation is focused on the mentees opinion on the topic. Mentors naturally have influence over mentees, so your opinion has weight to it. Mentees need to have autonomy and make decisions for themselves, therefore discussion should be mainly focused on their thought-process. I give an example of a mentee asking the mentor if they think we should build “the wall” between Mexico and the US. The mentee is probably trying to figure out their own stance on this issue. Instead of jumping in with your opinion, try asking follow-up questions on what they think about the issue or what they have heard. Try asking what they think are both “sides” of the issue. If they still want to know your opinion, you can share if you feel comfortable. I usually comment that Hot Topic conversations is like an art when deciding how to navigate the conversations. It gets easier with practice.

    Faith-based guidelines: Partners for Schools is a faith-based non-profit and many volunteers come from local churches—but, no requirements for either mentor or mentee to have any particular faith background. Remember public school setting—not appropriate to push a particular faith viewpoint on a student. (Handout in packet explains in more detail). Avoid giving gifts or money: small things can be used with discretion (birthday card, small item, snack, beverage). If youth expresses a financial need, refer to the coordinator/school personnel to help with resources. No social media, email or cell--You can get a message to a student through school staff. You are welcome to attend school events—sports, concerts, etc. Importance of confidentiality: tricky issues. Maintain confidentiality to establish trust with youth. Explain to students this way—”conversations are confidential, but if you talk about plans to harm yourself or someone else, or share that someone is harming you, your mentor will have to share that in order to protect your safety.” Extend “circle of confidentiality” to program coordinator; if in doubt, err on the side of caution. Guidelines of confidentiality will be explained to youth, and everyone signs contract together. Confidentiality of student records: grades, discipline, attendance records belong to student/parent—can’t share with mentor unless the student wants to. Questions?
  • Visual aid—thin, short yarn and longer thicker rope--what would you want to depend on for support or a lifeline if you were doing something dangerous? Each time you meet and go deeper in your relationship, you are adding strands to that rope. Longer and stronger relationships benefit the student more. Having realistic expectations about the relationship will allow you to be patience and develop relationship over time. Having a developmental approach toward the student will lead to a stronger, deeper relationship.
  • Visual aids: medical equipment and potted plant. What comes to mind when you think about the role of a doctor—actions/behaviors/perspective? What comes to mind when you think of a gardener—actions/behavior/perspective? How are they similar? different? Solicit responses/discuss. Which mindset do you think relates to mentoring? Which leads to a deeper relationships?
  • While doctors play an important role, it’s not the best role for us to take as mentors. We might talk with a young person about a problem they have and possible solutions, but we want to avoid coming across as the “expert” telling the youth what to do. Avoid focus on negative, on problems, telling youth what to do, trying to “fix” them, having an agenda—they need to . . . what’s wrong with young people today is . . .
  • A mentor with a Gardener approach will be able to develop a longer, stronger relationship—help them develop themselves through your support—more of a coach, cheerleader—instead of telling them what to do, ask questions about options they have considered and help them think it through. Let them choose how to spend your time; share opportunities and enrichment based on their interests.
  • How would you define empathy? What is empathy vs. sympathy?
  • Introduce Brene Brown as researcher, writer, social worker, story teller—well known and respected. What stood out to you in this video? How can you use this as a mentor?
  • How is someone likely to respond if you use reflective listening? It helps process feelings, invites them to share more-
  • Situation cards with mentee scenarios—how would you respond as a mentor? Partner up for scenarios—share responses with group/discuss.
  • Introduce Experienced Mentors (2-3) Allow each to share about their experiences. Allow group to ask questions. Thank them for sharing.
  • Be patient. Sometimes it takes awhile to find a good match. Want you to be successful. The more you can tell me about yourself, the better I can match you. Sometimes a person might want to be involved, but mentoring isn’t the best fit. Be open to other volunteer needs and being plugged in some other way. Maybe you know someone else who would be a good mentor—share with them and encourage them to apply.
  • Contact information . . . Let us know if you have a preference for MS/HS. Look forward to scheduling interviews!