The Mentor works with the student on one-to-one level. There are broadly five key aspects to the work of mentoring:

Getting to know the student
(1) getting to know the student’s background (eg, life history)
(2) understanding the student’s character traits (eg. learning biography)
(3) knowing the student’s strengths and weaknesses (eg. talents, skills and knowledge)
(4) discovering the student’s personal goals (eg. main interests and passions)

Setting the context for learning
(a) the context of secondary education and educational processes of schooling to link education to one’s overall personal development
(b) the context of the curriculum and each aspect of it to clarify what to study and why
(c) the context of standards to understand what counts as progress and how to make progress accordingly

Helping construct personal goals, Learning Agreement and tailored curriculum
(1) articulate a set of goals for the short, medium and long term
(2) draw up a Learning Agreement
(3) formulate a learning plan
(4) map out the student’s learning activities

Nurturing, challenging and supporting the student’s holistic development
(a) be attentive the student’s learning processes
(b) pose right questions at the right time to encourage the student’s reflection on learning and experiences
(c) help the student pinpoint the obstacles to learning and overcome them
(d) enable the student forge a picture of their future and learning trajectories towards it

Providing feedback
(1) provide feedback on the student learning
(2) review the student’s progress
(3) prepare a personalised record to represent progress (eg. learning portfolios)

Whilst one-to-one mentoring with a dedicated Learning Mentor is one approach to implementing mentoring, schools might also consider other models, such as group mentoring (facilitated by an adult) and the establishment of peer mentoring partnerships, in which students are empowered to support and guide one another through their unique learning journeys. These other approaches to mentoring will have many common features, and all mentors (peer or adult) will require training in active listening and support.

%d bloggers like this: