Three Quick Exercises to Improve Your Mentoring

Exercise One:

Describe a mentoring experience in your past. It should be one in which an adult singled you out for positive attention. Attention that moved you forward in your life, toward your goals, or even changed your life’s direction. Write it down so that you can bring it up when you meet your mentee.

Exercise Two:

Let’s examine more closely your ideas about mentoring. Complete the next two questions, then click the link to reveal your answers as well as some ideas from the authors of this module.

Select the qualities from the list below that you feel make a good mentor. Rely on your own experience and/or readings (freely adapted from the National Mentoring Partnership)

  • Always seems to be rushed.
  • Can usually only give one explanation when explaining a concept.
  • Demonstrates empathy.
  • Doesn’t need to prepare for sessions.
  • Has a particular way for doing everything without exception.
  • Interrupts frequently.
  • Is an active listener.
  • Is impatient with most people.
  • Looks for solutions and opportunities.
  • Shows respect for young people.
  • Talks too much about him/herself.
  • Tries to be flexible and open.

Exercise Three:

Relating Personal Experience:

Since BreakThru deals specifically with students who have a disability, tell us a little about your experience in this field by completing the questions below.

There are no right or wrong answers; but being able to describe your experience both good and bad could help model for your mentee on how to talk about their experiences and especially about their disability.

  1. Describe briefly your experience in working with a disabled person (young or old).
  2. Have you had any training on how to assist people with disabilities?
  3. Are you aware of the issues in your subject field that affect students with disabilities? Think about students with physical and learning disabilities as you describe any issues.

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