As mentors we are suppose to be role models, we are suppose to show our mentees the right way vs the wrong way. We are supposed to be the ones they strive to be like. We are suppose to be the ones who know what to say exactly when to say it.
Although that can feel pretty good, it can also be quite terrifying. What if you get in trouble and get a detention? Or what if your mentee catches you swearing? Or talking bad about someone else? Or what if they ask you a personal question and you freeze and have no clue what to say?
When I first started doing Mentorship, I felt like everything I did and said had to be monitored. For the first part I felt like I was being watched by two beady eyes from the moment I walked into the school till the moment I stepped onto the bus.
I know when I was in grade 7, I had a mentor and she changed my life. She made me come out of my comfort zone and taught me how to love myself and my body. She taught me that it doesn't matter what others think of you as long as you know your worth. She taught me that it's better to have 2 or 3 loyal friends that to have 20 friends who talk behind your back and spread rumors. She told me every day until I got it through my head that no matter what I am beautiful and worth more than I could ever imagine.
She is the reason I wanted to join Mentorship. I wanted to return the favor. If you didn't have a mentor, be the mentor you wish you had as a kid when you were a new, scared grade 7.
Over the past few months I have realized that mentoring is a two way street - you get out what you put in. If you don't try to connect with your mentee, and you don't try to create a relationship ship with them, your mentee is not going to open up and well, it's going to be a long year.
What I have learned over these past few months is that: it's okay to mess up, it's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to not know what to say. It's okay to say “I don't know”. You're mentee knows you're not perfect, in reality no one is.
The Good The Bad And The Purpose
There are so many good things that come with signing up for mentorship: you get 3 easy credits, and it’s an easy opportunity to get a spare. So why not join?
But what if you do decide to join and your mentee hates you? What if they’re in this program against their will? What if you can’t connect with them and the only thing you ever learn about them is that they have a cat named Kat? What if your mentee doesn’t like you or you don’t like them?
Everybody always seems to be talking about the obvious pros and cons about joining mentorship but no one ever seems to talk about the purpose. No one seems to talk about why the mentorship program was placed into our school. Have you ever thought that maybe your little person has a rough home life and you are the only person that they trust enough to tell you private things. Or maybe your mentor is shy and insecure…. Maybe they don't know how to love themselves until you come along and teach them. Us mentors could be inspiring our mentees and not even know it.
Being in mentorship is more than just meeting with a little person once a week. Mentor has a purpose. More than one. Mentorship is a program that gives high schools the opportunity to make a connection with someone who is new to the school and give them a feeling of being safe and secure.
To the world, you may just be another high schooler, but maybe just maybe to that little grade sevener, you're their hero. Maybe you're their role model and they look up to you with such awe.
When I first joined Mentorship, I didn't think I was going to create a relationship with my little person. I didn't think I would be able to sit there and have her tell me things she wouldn't if she didn't trust me. I didn't think that I would be able to make her laugh to the point where she's almost choking. I didn't see myself looking forward to picking her up in her classroom and just talking about everything and anything. Mentorship gives the mentee the benefit of knowing that someone cares about them. That someone is looking out for them and can give them advice on anything. Mentorship makes mentees understand that they are not alone and that they don't have to be scared of what's going to happen.
Mentorship has the opportunity to change lives for both the mentors and the mentees.
Instead of just looking at the pros and cons of joining Mentorship…. Think about the purpose.
What is Mentorship?
What is mentorship and why do we do it?
Mentorships in our school is when a high school student takes time out of his or her day to meet consistently with a Grade 7. It may seem trivial when the idea is first suggested, but when actually considered, it’s a system that will greatly benefit the younger kids at our school. One of the big focuses of our school with the “Encounters” that we do is meaningful relationships. Meaningful relationships between a person and their friends, between a person and the adults in their life, and lastly between a person and God. We are seeking to create meaningful relationships between the senior kids in the school and the inexperienced younger kids in the school. Jr. high and high school can often be overwhelming for individuals. The expectations go up. The pace is faster. They are expected to find their identity in a constantly changing environment. They are frantically trying to find themselves amidst the chaos. Thus, some kids often make poor decisions or develop a demeaning opinion of themselves. It is our job as mentors to help the kids that we are paired with to realize how gifted they are and that they are cared about and that they are not alone going into Jr. high. We are friends to come along side them and give them an example of how to act and walk in faith. We pray for them and help them build meaningful relationships. We help them learn about themselves and find their own identity in a constantly changing environment.
Mentorship is a system that does not just benefit the younger end of the relationship. The elder person also is rewarded. Mentorship it is an arrangement that requires growth from both parties. Those who normally don’t talk to people they don’t know are forced to make conversation. When both ends of the relationship seem to be shy and disengaged it forces someone to step outside of their comfort zone. It forces the mentor to be conscious of how they act in school and out of school. One of the things that we are often reminded of is that our mentee is watching. Always. When a young person looks up to someone they often imitate their actions. Do we want everything we do to be imitated? This can be good when they see you with friends having a good time or engaging with teachers. But an offhand conversation with swears or behaving in a way that disrespects others around you is also something that can be imitated. It is our responsibility to help our mentee find their identity. It is our responsibility to help them develop and grow. Not only individually, but also spiritually. We must be careful what we teach, because it is constantly observed and taken note of. The advice that we give them causes us to reflect on our own experiences. Were the choices that we made good? And how would we change them if we could? Our experiences help us guide the kids of the next generation. We can make a difference in their lives, and we can’t take that opportunity for granted.
Overview of the Mentorship Program
Overview of the program by Beth Rempel
What is ‘Mentorship’? Mentorship is a program that buddies up one grade 7 with their own grade 10-12 mentor.
Who runs it? The mentorship program is run by Mrs. Hafner, who also teaches science and biology.
Who is it for? This program is for grade 7s and grade 10-12s.
Where and when does it take a place? Once a week, the mentors will pick up their mentees from their homeroom at the start of lunch where then they will go to the link to eat their lunches. As well, they can go to the gym to hang out, play a game in the library, etc.; however, they are not allowed to meet off-campus or leave the campus while they are meeting; the meetings happen strictly at SCA. The program begins around the beginning of October and they meet throughout the school year, ending at the beginning of June.
How do you get into the program? For grade sevens, they just have to show their interest and fill out a sheet that gives them a chance to express their favourite things--food, sport, book, etc. This helps in pairing up the mentee and mentor. The mentors fill out an application and answer questions about where they are in their faith, things about their family, school, and any of their favourites--again, to help in making the matching process easier. By having common interests, it makes the introductions and getting to know each other smoother and things have a bit of a foundation to build upon.
Have any more questions? Feel free to email Mrs. Hafner at email@example.com!
Benefits of Mentorship - A Win-Win
Benefits of Mentorship- for the Mentee
North American students often lack a range of role models aside from the parents and older siblings. School counselors are fantastic - they often give students the one on one time that they require for personal and academic direction required to succeed in school. However, the average North American school guidance counselor is responsible for over 470 students. This large case load that many counselors are challenged with, prohibit many students from building a relationship with their school counselors and really benefiting from their programs. Here’s where mentorship comes in. Mentors are one form of role models on a school campus that can shape a student’s personal and academic outcome. The SCA mentorship program can guarantee young mentees that there is someone who will care about them, assure them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and make them feel valued and important. Research has shown that young people who participate in quality mentorship programs, such as SCA’s, benefit immensely from its positive effects social, personally and academically. It bridges the gap for a young person to access personal growth and development. The SCA mentorship program has another aspect that many high schools do not include and that is the spiritual growth component. Young mentees are not only getting mentored and advised about personal and academic needs, they are also guided and poured into spiritually. From being a mentee the SCA program, mentees will have the opportunity to go deeper in their relationship with Jesus and have someone to encourage them along the way.
Benefits of Mentorship - for the Mentor
Many people are under the impression that mentorship is only really for the mentee. Many think the mentor is slaving away attempting to build a relationship with a younger person without getting anything in return. I think those people are misguided. If I have learned anything from being a mentee to become a mentor this year through the SCA mentorship program, it’s that mentors can benefit from mentorship just as much as mentee’s can. Mentoring relationships are a shared opportunity for learning and growth. I like how the SCA mentorship program really puts an emphasis on achieving personal growth and learning more about yourself and mentee, gaining a better understanding of other cultures and develop a greater appreciation for diversity, and learning how to lead your mentee in to a more whole life. Through engaging, understanding and investing in mentees, mentors sharpen their community building skills and learn to become less self-focused and absorbed. I think SCA mentors also realize that they need to hold themselves to a higher standard, than they maybe would have originally, because there is someone look up to them now. I think when an SCA mentor encourages their mentee in their faith and relationship with the Lord, the mentor really grows spiritually in a way that they maybe never would have had the opportunity to anywhere else. Being a mentor through the SCA mentorship program is also fun! Many of the mentees I have interacted with are so full of life and energy that it just radiates from them, and its infectious to the washed up teenage mentors that could use a little joy in their lives! In conclusion, if you have the opportunity to join the SCA Mentorship program as a mentor, I encourage you to go for it! Because mentors can benefit from the program just as much as mentees can.
Posted on November 23rd, 2017
By: Jocelyn Patrick (Gr 11)
In grade 10, I saw mentors and mentees at the lunch hour talking, playing games, laughing, and most of all having fun. Going into grade 11, I became very interested in Mentorship and looking into the program, more I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to expand my horizons. I was given the chance to broaden my leadership abilities, create a new friendship, be a role model, a positive influence, and put my mentee and myself in new exciting situations. I wanted to create a leadership and friendship connection with my mentee and most of all establish a spiritual relationship. I wanted the chance to be someone this girl could come to about her life problems, but I knew that would not satisfy me or ever be enough. I craved the opportunity to create an even deeper trust that could only come with sharing spiritual beliefs and being open about how we really felt. This was the one thing that I truly wished to have with my mentee over any of the other self-benefits. Many nights I prayed over getting a grade seven girl who I would be able to create such a relationship with and I truly believe that God has given me someone who is willing to do such a thing with. For all of these reasons I enrolled in the Mentorship program and was lucky enough to be paired with a wonderful mentee. We are becoming more comfortable with each other, each time we meet, and it is very rewarding to see how she slowly starts to open up more over time . We still have a long way to go at achieving complete comfort and trust but the pure joy of seeing progress gives me motivation to continue on our journey, and for these reasons is why I joined Mentorship.
By: Autumn Hawes (Gr 10)
Mentorship has been full of new and fun experiences. At first, I wasn’t expecting too much because I have never done anything like this before. The first day I met my mentee, I was nervous, but by the third week I had gotten to know her better. When I signed up for mentorship I did not know that my mentee would open up so quickly. The first month I decided I would get to know her and we talked about her and her life. Originally, I thought that mentorship would be more of a seventh grader friendship, yet the purpose of mentorship is to mentor and advise the younger student. My first month went well as I discovered her interests and what she wanted to do during the lunch breaks that we spend together. My favourite part about the first month was meeting her and the mentorship party. Throughout the year there are three mentorship parties. In the first month of mentorship is the mentorship kickoff party, which is after school. There was food, drinks, and lot of new games. During this party not only do we bond with our mentees, but we bond with each other as well. These games serve as icebreakers so that we could learn about our mentees in an open, friendly environment. The next party is the Christmas party and if it’s anything like the first then it's going to be fantastic. And then finally is the year end party which will be bittersweet because after the school year is up our mentorship program with the current grade sevens will end as the new ones take their place.
By: Ashley Coulson (Gr 12)
People think mentorship isn't for them because they aren’t smart enough - or because they don’t know how to connect or even because they don’t know how to talk about certain topics. When I first joined mentorship, I was terrified. Even though those grade sevens are all so cute and adorable, some of them are vicious. What if my mentee doesn’t like me? What if she's taller and pettier and smarter than me? What is she judges me on my makeup because her’s is better? I didn’t know what to think, and it was too late to back out. All these thoughts kept going through my mind. What if she asks me a personal question that I don’t know how to answer? Or what if I give her the wrong advice and she hates me forever?
What I have realized from being in mentorship for two years now is that you don’t have to have all the answers, you just have to be willing to share what you know. You cannot pretend to be someone you are not. You have to be real. It was hard for me at first to open up to my mentee but later on, I find myself telling her my most embarrassing moments - from face planting in front of my crush or sitting in chocolate with my white jeans….My mentee has opened up to me to the point where she’s telling me things from her past I know are personal and hard to talk about. Having a mentor is like having a safety net. Someone you can fall back on for advice or guidance. And to me I think it is really important for everyone to have a safety net.
By: Kate Gray (Gr 11)
As John C. Crosby once said, “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.“ Mentorship is a group of older students who come together, led by Mrs. Hafner, and are matched up with grade seven students who have similar interests. Once every week, the mentor and mentee meet at lunchtime (participating in new activities all the time). Three times a year, an after-school party with all of the mentors and mentees, to celebrate the friendships built through this project. When I signed up for Mentorship, I was not sure of what to expect. Halfway into the year, I am truly blessed with a wonderful mentee and amazing mentors to work with. The mentors become friends throughout the year as they collaborate on projects and activities, and the mentees grow closer together and get along well as they participate in everything the mentors put together. Every week, I look forward to meeting with my mentee and hearing about her week, hearing about all her crazy stories, and mostly just spending time with her. While the older students gain valuable life experience as they talk with, listen to, and advise their mentees, they also gain a maturity that comes from understanding life from someone else’s point of view. Similarly, the mentees gain positive guidance in their lives, as well as a friend and older influence, all wrapped into one person dedicated to them for an entire year. Mentorship is, in my opinion, one of the greatest groups our school has to offer, and I would definitely recommend taking part in it to anyone and everyone.