To be a mentor simply takes two things:
- Skill(s) or knowledge you want to share
- Time you’re willing to give.
To EXCEL at being a mentor takes a little bit more, so we’ve provided this training page.
A mentor is a role model who helps foster the learning of the team members through teaching, coaching, counseling and championing.
This is achieved through the mentor process, where control of tasks is transferred from the mentor(s) to the student(s) as they achieve mastery of the skills needed.
Mentors teach more than technical skills, they also teach communications, conflict-resolution, negotiation, respect, proper behavior, teamwork, etc.
Mentors are expected to follow all school and district rules, and follow the team behavior contract.
All team mentors need to fill in volunteering forms (there are 6 district forms) every year to be able to work with students at Lynnwood H.S. If a mentor will be driving students they also need the ESD transportation form and a current WA state driver’s transcript (which can be ordered online). The team requires a current behavior contract and contact information/web biography on file. All these forms can be downloaded from the Resources section/downloads page.
Please read our team’s Mentoring Guidelines to get in-depth information about mentoring with Royal Robotics. There are also other District and FIRST informational brochures available in the Resources section/downlods page.
- Know the task and your role in it. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the whole picture, then the details of your part in it.
- Get online or in-class training as needed from FIRST, Autodesk, NI, etc. (see Resources/Links page) preferably before the build. Share training with team members.
- Watch for stress during the build, both yours and other team members. Give yourself a break or suggest a break to another if you think it’s needed.
- Include everyone. Seek out those that hesitate to join in.
- Show respect for all ideas and persons. Be worthy of respect in return.
- Resist doing most of the talking, avoid one-way communication. Instead, ask leading questions that get students thinking and participating.
- Be careful how you criticize. Some students are more sensitive then others.
- Remember that the skills and knowledge of the students are at very different levels. Take the time to assess and adjust accordingly.
- Learn the traits of a good mentor, so that you can assess your strengths and challenges.
Characteristics of a good mentor:
- Values the team, its mission and goals.
- Treats everyone with respect. Tolerant of differences.
- Is able to establish a comfortable environment for discussions.
- Enjoys helping students acquire new skills and knowledge.
Essential mentoring skills include:
- Being a good listener and knowing how to give effective feedback.
- Knowing how to help students with goal-setting and planning.
- Knowing when to give and when not to give advice. Don’t help too much!
- Having the ability to instill confidence and motivate people.
Signs of successful mentoring:
- Both mentor and student are willing to help and learn from each other.
- The relationship provides satisfaction to both individuals.
- Mentor and student resolve conflicts constructively.
- The relationship changes as needs and goals change.
Click here to see Mentoring info from American Speech-language Hearing Association (www.asha.org/students/gatheringplace/ExcMentor.htm)