Even if your CLA doesn’t say “mentor,” we all play the role of mentor to someone in our life. Whether you acknowledge it or not, there are always people learning from us. At our sites, in the classroom, in our dorms, and in the Bonner program, we have a unique leadership position on campus that allows us to serve as mentors to our peers on campus.
[Look where mentoring got THESE folks!]
Below is an excerpt from CCE’s Michael Roger’s monthly email to Build It mentors. Some things you can keep in mind over the next few days…..
Mentoring in context: At this stage in the semester, continue to deepen your relationship to you mentees by asking them specific questions and telling them more about yourself. It sounds simple, but often we ask the same general questions like “how was your day?” and we get the same general response: “good.”
Mentoring tip: Educators of all ages have noticed that when they say, “I like,” (as in “I like your poetry!”) students feel as though the older person has “taken” their budding interest. Try to avoid making value judgments such as “it’s cool” or “I like” and instead make value-neutral statements such as “I notice.” They may feel like you are starting to “get” them by making this small change.
Remember: Life is all about experiences and our responses to those experiences. Henry Cloud writes, “People grow and people change when the right experiences are brought to the person and they have the right response in using those experiences.” So much of mentoring and teaching is guiding students’ responses to life.
Bonus! If you’re hungry for more, listen to this most excellent This American Life podcast, “How to talk to Kids” in which Ira Glass explores different ways adults talk to students ranging from elementary ages to high school. This is a great thing to listen to while you’re folding laundry or procrastinating on your homework.
You won’t regret it: http://bit.ly/Talkingtokids.
As always, don’t stress about any of these tips. Just put this document on your desk or in your bag to review in the next few weeks as you continue to reflect on your service and improve your role as a mentor.
If you want more information about these topics or if there is a topic you want to discuss in the future, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also available to meet one-on-one or in a group at any time during the week. Hope to hear from you soon!