Mentoring evening is an important part of the school year when we meet our mentee’s parents and discuss what we will be aiming to achieve. I have 2 mentees, both from my Spanish group. We explain and discuss how we will be supporting their children so as to achieve their full potential. I always explain to parents that I am there to push their child, to be their child’s support worker, their liaison between other tutors and subjects and to help them with any, literally, any problems they have.
Sometimes I am the only adult in or out of school who is “on their side” and who understands the pressure that GCSE exams bring. I discuss how students can improve their marks, help organise their time giving them tips on how to have an equal balance between studying and socialising, or just give them the benefit of my life experiences and parenting experiences.
We meet with our mentees every 4 weeks but I try and aim for every 2 weeks so that it isn’t always about their academic life.
Emphasis on their future is always my prime aim, and they always want me to provide a reference for Higher Education or a part time job as they say how well I know them and also that they trust me. Being a mentor is a huge privilege and at the end of the year when they’ve completed their exams and the excitement of the prom is in the air, my mentees bring their photos in of their prom dresses, just to see my tears!!! Little monkeys!!
Do you have a similar mentoring system in your school? What do you do to encourage your students in year 11? Have you any amusing ‘mentoring’ tales? What has been your greatest success with being a student mentor?