Recently a mentor was instrumental in noticing that the student was not herself and voiced her concerns to BTO. School staff were able to take quick action to intervene. The mentor played a huge role in making sure this student did not slip through the cracks. While the student was in the hospital, the mentor was able to drop off something for the family to show her care, concern, and support.
Mentors take time to notice and see needs teachers and staff may miss.
One of the primary goals of mentoring students is building trust with them. Without their trust, your impact in their lives will never reach it’s full potential. Building trust takes time. So, don’t be discouraged when you don’t see “results” right away. It’s important to go into a mentoring relationship with a long-term perspective. Here are three ways you can build trust with your student:
- Be Consistent …just showing up every week on time builds trust, especially with students who don’t see that consistency modeled to them by other adults in their lives. Your consistency will provide a bright spot in their week they can look forward to.
- Be Present …leave your own distractions behind and give your student your full attention. Students often express how valued they feel when given our full attention. Trust is built a minute at a time.
- Be Patient …remember the long-term perspective. Don’t be quick to judge or quick to fix your student. Being listened to evokes the same positive response in our bodies as feeling loved. Students often express their appreciation for their mentor not being “judgey”.
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.