Summer is here!
Every academic year mentors get pulled left, right and centre. Why? Because the need is great! Often schools have one or, if they are lucky, two mentors supporting their most vulnerable pupils.
If you are a mentor who works in a school, here are my top tips for you this summer.
1# Enjoy yourself!
It is really important that you experience life! That could be spending time with loved ones, travelling the world or even getting some well-deserved sleep! The important thing is to do something that gives you life and energy. The idea is to recharge first.
2# Learn some new theories.
New ideas come out all the time. To make sure you are performing at your best, invest in learning new theories. That could be reading new mentoring literature or taking a short course. As mentors, we often help others grow, then neglect our own growth! Not because we feel we know it all, but because our mind-set is to help others. We just forget to help ourselves.
3# Reflect and prepare.
School mentors now have their summer break (which is well deserved)! However, I would like to stress the importance of this time. This is the time where you can reflect on what worked and what just didn't. Also to look at your caseload. Did you manage to give your best to every mentee or did you have too many children and young people to look after? These are all questions you don't have time to ask when September rolls by. So do it now.
Here are some questions that may help you reflect.
1. What was the hardest part of last year? Why?
2. What worked well?
3. What was rubbish?
4. How many children can you see every week/month/term?
5. Do you have enough time to plan each session, or are you blagging it?
6. Are you reviewing your mentees regularly?
7. Do your mentees need one-to-one or group sessions?
8. Are you equipped with new resources?
9. Do you have someone to discuss workload with, regularly?
10. What did you enjoy most last year?
To all mentors, support staff and teachers: rest, learn, prepare.
Have a great summer! We will see you in September!