Mentoring Best Practices Andy Greif Community Bicycle Center Biddeford, Maine Youth Bike Summit 2011 The New School - NYC
Mentor Characteristics Activity Think about yourself when you were the same age as the youth in your Earn-a-Bike program. Was there an adult whom you especially enjoyed spending time with? What were the qualities of that person that made him/her special to you? How did this mentor make a difference in your life? What are the qualities that turn you away from a possible mentor?
10 Mentoring Best Practices Adapted from: Building Relationships: A Guide for New Mentors (revised September 2007) – Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities . Washington, DC: Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence & National Mentoring Center at Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Available online at: www.hamfish.org & www.nwel.org /mentoring .
BE A FRIEND Don’t act like a parent Don’t try to be an authority figure Don’t preach about values DO focus on bond, attachment, equality & mutual enjoyment
Psychological Needs adapted from William Glasser Basic Fun Freedom Belonging Power
REALTISTIC GOALS & EXPECTATIONS Focus on his/her overall development Center your goals on the relationship Emphasis friendship over performance
HAVE FUN TOGETHER Create opportunities for fun Having fun shows reliable & committed Fun activities first, serious later
GIVE MENTEE VOICE & CHOICE Give range of choices Create an “idea file” together Listen Emphasize mentee enjoyment important Negotiate Clear limits on money you will spend
Flow Diagram adapted from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi High High Low Low CHALLENGE SKILL ANXIETY BOREDOM OPTIMUM LEARNING
BE POSITIVE Expressions of direct confidence Encouraging with troublesome topics Offer concrete assistance
CONTROL OVER TALK Don’t push Be sensitive & responsive to cues Vary styles communication & disclosure Fear of judgment or exposure Activities source of conversation
LISTEN Just listening without criticism Friend and not an authority figure
RESPECT THE TRUST Show you see mentee’s side of things Reassure you will be there for him/her If you give advice, give it sparingly If you give advice, focus on solutions Concerns – reassurance & acceptance Sound like a friend, not like a parent
Stage Based Change adapted from Prochaska & DiClemente
RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUTH Cordial but distant with family members Keep primary focus on the youth Resist efforts by family members for help Be nonjudgmental about the family
YOU BUILD RELATIONSHIP Responsible make & maintain contact Not adult-to-adult relationship traits
IMPACT OF MENTORING Anti-social activities Academic performance, attitudes & behavior Relationships with family Relationships with friends Self concept Social & cultural enrichment
Andy Greif Community Bicycle Center P.O. Box 783 Biddeford, Maine 04005 [email_address] 207-282-9700 www.communitybike.net
References Mentoring Best Practices Building Relationships: A Guide for New Mentors (revised September 2007) – Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities . Washington, DC: Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence & National Mentoring Center at Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Available online at: www.hamfish.org & www.nwel.org/mentoring . Foundations of Successful Youth Mentoring (revised September 2007) – Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities . Washington, DC: Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence & National Mentoring Center at Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Available online at: www.hamfish.org & www.nwel.org/mentoring . Garringer, Michael (2007). Research, Best Practices, and Resources of Effective Youth Mentoring. Proceeding of Persistently Safe Schools: The 2007 National Conference on Safe Schools and Communities (pgs. 93-110). Henderson, Nan, Benard, Bonnie & Sharp-Light, Nancy eds. (2000). Mentoring for Resiliency. Mentor. (2009). Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (3rd Edition), Alexandria, Va: MetLife Foundation. Available online at: www.mentoring.org Rhodes, Jean E.; Duboise, David L. & Taylor, Andres S. (September 15. 2006). Youth Mentoring: Programs and practices that Work A Forum.
Definition: Mentoring The mentor is the resiliency catalyst responsible for ensuring that the process of building global self-esteem is realized. This process includes providing opportunities for developing competencies in domains of perceived value and providing the approval for successes and support for failures in developing these competencies. Domains include: scholastic competence, social acceptance, athletic competence, physical appearance, behavioral conduct, job competence, romantic appeal, and close friendships. Adapted from Nan Henderson & others (2000)
The Resiliency Wheel Providing Caring & Support Teaching Life Skills Setting Clear & Consistent Boundaries Providing Opportunities for Meaningful Participation Setting and Communicating High Expectations Adapted from Nan Henderson & others (2000)
Core to Successful Programs caring, supportive, and empowering relationships are the most important factors in moving youth from stressed to success. Resilience research points out over and over that transformational power exists not in programmatic approaches per se, but at the deeper willingness to share power. Enlarge repertoire of problem solving skills and social skills within a context of an organized and predictable environment that combines warmth and caring with a clearly defined structure and the setting of explicit limits. Adapted from Nan Henderson & others (2000
Characteristics of Effective 1:1 Relationships Intensity and consistent time. Mentor believes that he/she there to meet the developmental needs of the youth. Reliable (showing up), trusting, caring, respectful, and reciprocal relationship. Concentrate on becoming friends and not telling young people what to do. Expand the scope of their efforts only as the relationship strengthens. Relationship enjoyable and fun to both partners. “ There” for the young person, listening, nonjudgmental, looks for interests and strengths, and incorporates the youth in decision-making process. Not a prescriptive relationship: adult volunteers believe their primary purpose is guiding the youth toward the values, attitudes, and behaviors the adult deemed positive. Youth-centered approach: asking the youth what he/she needs and wants and then offering help as a shared activity, as well as the strengths-focus, sensitivity, and empathy. You have to become not so concerned about making a difference. The adult takes the responsibility for keeping the relationship alive. Pay attention especially for the youth’s needs for fun. Young men want sporting equipment and program to be interactive and activity oriented. Hold visions of protégés that they could not imagine for themselves. Crucial environmental protective factors: connection, competence, and contribution. Adapted from Nan Henderson & others (2000)
Earn-a-Bike Mentoring Tips No two people learn the same way. Ask each student what works best for them. People often take a step backwards before taking a big step forward. Both student and mentor have equal footing but mentors usually lead. Teach by example, even when clueless. Learning together teaches how to learn. Expect to be tested by students. Don’t take it personally. Consistency goes along way. Set boundaries as necessary. Respect boundaries. Ask permission of students. It’s okay to walk away when frustrated and return with a fresh perspective. Disrespectful language and behavior are not accepted. Make small goals, celebrate and acknowledge reaching them. Students do the work for themselves. Mentors help, participate, and guide. Expect that students don’t know how to be safe. Practice safety as a rule. When in doubt, ask for help! Ask students to show you how to solve bike repair problems. Assess the balance between student’s skills and level of challenge. Sometimes the bike chosen is too challenging to repair so pick an easier one. Never discard parts until the bike has been completely repaired and inspected. Keep dismantled parts organized in one space and in the installation order. Return all tools and parts bins to their home in the shop for others to use. Listen and watch for kids’ interests, strengths, challenges, and show interest. Learning and developing skills creates power of choice and opportunities.
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