Year-end Tips for Mentors: Making the Most of Your Last Visit of the Year
- Speak truthfully
- Do not judge
- Ask questions
- Give facts
- Focus on day-to-day life
- Be flexible
- Smile a lot
What You Can Accomplish:
- Encourage and reinforce positive behavior, attitudes, and ambitions.
- Enhance students' self-confidence and feelings of self-worth.
- Broaden students' knowledge of future education, lifestyle and career options.
- Help students set and achieve educational and personal goals.
- Help students develop problem-solving skills.
- Share a lifetime of experience.
- Be what a young person needs most: someone to listen.
- Strengthen students' connection to their school and community.
Activities to Do with Your Student(s):
- Check out books in the school library.
- Make a greeting, get-well or holiday card to give to other people.
- Research and talk about famous people who used their abilities to get ahead.
- Read the newspaper together. Talk about current affairs. Get their views on what is occurring. Students with low-reading skills may enjoy looking at magazines.
- Ask about the career goal of your student. What do they hope to be and how did they make that choice? Tell your student about your work and how you reached your position.
- Bring a card or a small cake to celebrate your student's birthday.
- Teach a skill such as sewing, embroidery, painting, model building or wood working.
- Play games like chess, dominoes, cards and SCRABBLE.
- Write a poem together.
- Work on a computer.
- Play a musical instrument or talk about your favorite types of music.
- Exchange photos of family, house or pets.
- For older students, help them study for their driver's license, review job opportunities in the want ads or fill out college applications together.
- Listen, Listen, Listen.
Signs of Success:
- Your student's attendance improves.
- More smiles.
- Improved eye contact.
- Improved appearance.
- More participation in the classroom.
- Improved interaction with peers.
- Increased consideration of others.
- Decreased hostility.
- More enthusiasm.
- Less time spent in principal's or nurse's office.
- Less time in detention.
- Other students sit in with you and your young friend or your student introduces you to classmates.
- Your student's grades improve.
- Paying more attention.
- Your student shows more confidence.
- More willingness to express thoughts and feelings.
- Other students ask for YouthFriends.
Appreciate the Smallest Signs of Success:
- An enthusiastic greeting
- A ready smile
- A growing trust
- For some, it may be 10 years before a former student looks back and says, "You know who made a difference in my life--YOU."