1, Set the Tone

At the start of the school year, sit down with your class and ask questions, find out what will work well. Explain that you have high expectations for them this year. Lay the foundation for the student’s understanding that you believe in him or her, because you might be the only one who genuinely does.

2, Be a Mentor

Some of the kids you will teach may come from difficult home situations, inconsistent housing and a lack of resources for example. Therefore, as a result of this some kids may experience forms of neglect, causing them to act out in school to receive attention whether it be good or bad. They want someone to notice them and take an interest in their lives.

It is very important to help your students develop socially, not just academically. Make an effort to show that you care about them and not just their grades, Be pro-active instead of reactive. The key to being a good mentor is about being positive, available and trustworthy. One year with a great mentor can have a long lasting, positive impact on a child’s life.

3. Make Connections

To be a great mentor, you should know how to connect with tough kids. These students do not have anyone encouraging them or taking an interest in their lives, have a real conversation about their future or dreams. If they do not have anything to share then talk about their interests, such as sports, music, movies, food, clothing and so on. Find a way to connect with them, so they can relate to you. Start off small and show a genuine interest in what you have to say. Once you have made a positive connection and the students can trust you, you will be surprised how they may open up and tell you their hopes, fears and home life. You will need to exercise professional discretion depending what the student discloses with you. Explain that you do not want to violate his or her trust but that, as an educator, you are required by law to report certain things.

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