Lynden Middle School, February 2020

Stories to Share

Intuition and a little luck
When coordinators have mentors and students waiting to be matched, it is our job to make a good match.  There is a lot that goes into this process.  We get to know each person and bombard them with questions to understand them more.  When we match, we use intuition and wisdom, but pure luck is also a factor.  I had one girl who was recently matched come to me and say, “My mentor is so great!  You really do know how to match well.”  I am convinced it’s the quality mentors that make kids so happy, not necessarily my ability to put people together.

The battleship has been sunk
One mentor that has played games quite a bit with her mentee came to my office with excitement the other day.  She told me that her student seemed distracted and not really into the game of Battleship they were playing.  Finally, the mentor asked, “should we put Battleship away?”  The mentee agreed and they began talking and sharing with each other.  The student began sharing things they had never talked about before.  The mentor felt it was a tremendous starting point and now the two are talking all the time.  I believe as mentor and mentee get closer and closer, there will always be a time when the game (like Battleship) will no longer be the main focus.

Side by side
Mentor relationships can be challenging to get started.  Sometimes students feel awkward sharing with a stranger and that is often why games are a good starting point.  It’s something about looking into another person’s eyes that allows us to feel guarded, vulnerable and exposed.  That is why I suggest “walks.”  Walking side-by-side with someone creates an atmosphere of openness.  It allows students and adults to share things they might not share regularly when faced with someone.  One pair decided to take me up on this suggestion, except I was not expecting what came next.  The two decided to walk outside EVERY single week.  The two do not wait for the sun to shine or the weather to become warm.  They walk every week in the rain, sleet, snow and wind.  Yet, it works for them and they love it.

 Mentoring Update at the Lynden Middle School:

  • 45 active matches at the middle school
  • 6 matches made this month
  • 2 matches more to be made soon
  • 6 students on our wait list ready for a mentor (3 girls/3 boys)
  • 16 potential new students who want a mentor but have not turned in their applications
  • New Mentors: Are mentor pool is low, but there are a few experienced mentors who may be matched with some kids on out wait list.

 Program Development/Evaluation

  • Continuing to work on our Policy and Procedure Manual. Our goal is to finish it by the end of the year.  We have been making good progress this month.
  • Ongoing support towards other school districts with the BE THE ONE Program.

 Other Activities

  • Art club