Welcome to the December edition of the Mentoring Minute! Now that we are a few months into the school year, it’s a good time to talk about some EXPECTATIONS we bring into mentoring. Whether you are just starting a mentoring relationship with a new student this school year, or you are continuing to build on a relationship from previous years, you came into this year with expectations (we all have them). For those just starting out, we have to be careful that our expectations don’t set us up to fail before we even really start building the foundational building blocks of trust and rapport with the students we mentor. And, for those of us continuing a mentoring relationship, we have to be careful that our expectations reflect a more “long-term perspective” than a short term one. Otherwise, we can quickly become discouraged, judgmental, and even cynical toward the students we have the opportunity to invest in.
As mentors, it’s essential that we bring healthy expectations into our mentoring relationships. This month, our goal is to focus on what some of those healthy expectations look like, and how those expectations can encourage us to take a long-term perspective with our students even when we don’t see short-term progress.
Some things to think about as we start talking about expectations and mentoring this month…
“What are some expectations that you have brought into your mentoring relationships as a mentor? Are they realistic or unrealistic?”
“What are some expectations that you’ve had of those who have mentored you?”
“How have your expectations shaped your mentoring experience
both as a mentor and a mentee?”
Check back next week as we continue the conversation about expectations and mentoring!
–Jason Matthews, BTO Mentor Coach
Jason Matthews is a youth pastor in Washington State, where he’s been serving students for over 20 years. When he doesn’t have to be in the office, he loves to be outside with his family, hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest. He also loves to network with other youth workers.