And that means that if you are a part of a school-based mentoring program like Be the One, you don’t have much time left to invest in your student before summer break starts.
So, what do you do…what can you do in this last month of mentoring your student? What should you do with the time you have left?
The short answer is… Show you care.
Now, before I elaborate on how you can care for your student as the school year winds down, let me remind you of just how important caring for your student really is. According to a recent study by Springtide Research, nearly 8 out of 10 (79%) of students agree with this statement: “I am more likely to listen to adults in my life if I know that they care about me.”*
In other words, if you want to have a voice in your student’s life, you need to show that you care about them first.
Hopefully by now, your student already knows that you care about them. But, this month, we’re going to share four practical ways that you can care for your student as the school year winds down. And, to make it easy to remember, we’re going to turn those four ways into an acronym.
So, here you go. Here are the four ways you can care for your student this month:
Let’s start this week with that word “celebrate.” Maybe you think that’s a strange word to include with all the craziness and challenges we’ve faced in the last year, but that’s exactly why we need to be celebrating with our students. This year has been hard in lots of ways, but we can still celebrate the fact that the school year is winding down. We can celebrate in spite of all the challenges that came with online and hybrid school. In fact, we need to celebrate…surviving this year of disruption has not been easy for any of us!
Celebrating the end of the school year doesn’t mean that we ignore the challenges your student faced this year (we’ll get to that later when we talk about empathy). But for now, think of ways that you can celebrate the end of the year together. Maybe it’s doing something that you both enjoy. Maybe it’s sharing a favorite food (like dessert) together. Whatever it is, be creative!
When you celebrate with your student, you show that you care about them.
Check back next week for another practical way that you can care for your student as this school year winds down!
*Springtide Research Institute, “The New Normal: 8 ways to care for Gen Z in a post-pandemic world”
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.