Mentoring FAQ

Mentoring Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is it decided about continuing the same relationship the following year?

     A short survey will go out to the mentor and mentee in late April/early May and one of the questions that will be asked is about staying with the same mentor/mentee the following year. It is still important to have closure meetings even if the mentoring match continues, in case a change over the summer prevents the match from continuing.

    Do the students choose to be in the mentor program?

    Students are selected based on teacher and counselor recommendations and with parent permission. Once a student is recommended by the staff, the student does agree to the mentor partnership.

    What happens if my schedule changes and I have to miss a mentoring session or change my schedule time altogether?

    Unexpected things can interfere with normal plans. If you know ahead of time that you will have to miss a session or a couple of weeks, be sure to inform both the child and the school mentor coordinator. 

    It is essential that you let your mentee know your absence had nothing to do with him or her. Dependability is the most important part of mentoring. Communication with the school is vital. If you find you need to change your meeting time permanently, inform the mentor coordinator.

    Young people’s problems are so complex. What can I possibly do?

    Our kids are growing up in a complex world, but in many cases, what they need is simply to connect to a caring adult. You are not there to “fix” them or solve their problems. You are there to be a positive role model, listen and encourage them to do great things with their lives. Use your own experience to guide you.

    I’m not exactly “cool.” What if my mentee doesn’t like me?

    Most young people are more interested in a relationship with someone who is real and they don’t expect “cool.” If you are genuinely showing interest in your mentee as a unique human being who deserves to be respected, supported and listened to, that’s the goal. Be yourself.

    What if my mentee won’t talk to me?

    Remember that awkward silence is common at the beginning of almost any relationship. This is not an indication that you are not connecting. In our young people’s world today, face-to-face conversation is diminishing, so communicating verbally and not by way of technology is another skill you will bring to your mentee through your time together.

    Use open-ended questions to help your shyer students open up, ask them to teach you how to do something or ask their advice to help build trust. Shy people will probably open up more if you engage them in an activity while you talk, such as a game of cards or checkers. Being patient and consistent with your visits will foster a trusting relationship.

    What if I say something wrong?

    We all make mistakes and say the wrong thing sometimes. What a great opportunity to show your mentee how to handle making a mistake. You can model humility, how to graciously admit you were wrong and offer a sincere apology. Seeing adults handle problems and take responsibility can help young people develop their own positive conflict resolution skills. We don’t expect you to be perfect.