Mentoring to Adolescents
The success of many adolescents in their careers can usually be tied back to others who influenced them. These adolescents frequently mention coaches who were particularly helpful as career developers. Many of these adolescents also mention others at high grades that given guidance and support to them in the development of their careers. These coach, adviser, and supporting teachers called mentors.
“Results indicated most students had a mentor, and mentors were most helpful through role modeling, verbal encouragement, personal support, and providing career guidance. Gender differences were found on several outcome variables but were not detected based on sex or ethnic match, or the presence of a mentor” Lisa Y. Flores, Ezemenari M. Obasi; 2005).
Generally, the mentor initiates the relationship, but sometimes adolescents will approach a potential mentor for advice.
Most mentoring relationships develop over time on an informal basis. However, in proactive organizations there is an emphasis on formal mentoring plans that call for the assignment of a mentor to those employees considered for upward movement in the organization.
Under a good mentor, learning focuses on goals, opportunities, expectations, standards, and assistance in fulfilling one’s potential (Starcevich and Friend, 1999). Also Available at http://www.indiana.edu/~busx420/Book-Excerpts/chap07.doc.
Mentoring roles vary, according to need, from a vocational to an interpersonal focus:
Vocational mentoring roles include: enhancing the subject’s skills and intellectual development; helping to build up a set of educational values; consulting to help the subject to elucidate goals and ways of implementing them; helping to set up a set of personal and professional standards; and networking and sponsoring by providing opportunities for the subject to meet other professionals.
These roles help lately qualified teachers, new appointments, and those new to middle management or headships to adjust to changes in their career pattern and to advance within the profession.
Interpersonal mentoring roles include: sharing; role modeling; and allowing the subject to get insight into how the mentor works in a professional capacity. A mentor must also encourage the subject to build his or her self-confidence by acknowledging successes.
A mentor is also a counselor who listens to but does not tell the subject what to do. Not all mentors will fulfill all of these roles, but the more extensive the roles, the richer the relationship. These roles enable the subject to explain his or her identity and to develop professional confidence and self-esteem.
Basically, mentoring is an idea and a practice that has progress eventually in different cultures and contexts. Natural mentoring occurs incidentally in a diversity of life settings through friendship, teaching, coaching and counseling. ‘Planned’ mentoring involves structured programs with clear objectives, where mentors and mentees are matched using formal processes.
It is unsurprising; therefore, that today there is considerable confusion over its meaning. The essential elements of a mentoring relationship are
A recognizable procedure, formal or informal;
A clear understanding of the procedure and of the roles of mentor and subject;
Trust, privacy, discretion and a rapport between both parties;
Mentors with the requisite professional reliability and honesty and a range of suitable skills, including counseling, listening, sensitive questioning, analysis and handing back responsibilities;
Subjects who are aware of their own needs;
Attitudes suitable to the roles of mentor and mentored: for instance, professional concern on the part of the mentor to challenge the subject, and the self-motivation on the subject’s part to keenly take the necessary action.
Mentoring is a optimistic mechanism for developing management skills, while those who have been subject to mentoring will have gained from the experience a sense of what their ongoing professional development will entail (Leuenberger, Whitaker, and Sheldon 1993).
Because a personal relationship is at the heart of mentoring, volunteers’ variations and terminations can touch on adolescent’s vulnerabilities in ways that other, cannot.
If adolescent have begun to value the mentoring relationship and to recognize with their mentors, they can feel profound disappointment if the relationship does not progress. Such feelings of rejection and disappointment can lead to a variety of negative emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes (Downey & Feldman, 1996).
A frequent observation amongst mentors and parents is that close connections with mentors can promote improvements in adolescents’ relationships with others, especially their parents. Through constantly warm and accepting interactions with their mentors, youth can start to distinguish the benefits of close relationships and open themselves to the people around them, mainly their parents.
In some cases, mentors can serve as alter native or secondary attachment figures, helping youth to realign their conceptions of themselves in relation to other people. In other cases, mentors can act as sounding boards, providing models for effective communication and help adolescents to better understand, express, and control both their positive and negative emotions (Pianta, 1999).
Mentoring relationships led to improvements in adolescents’ perceptions of their relations with their parents (i.e., higher levels of intimacy, communication, and trust). Those improvements, in turn, led to optimistic changes in adolescents’ sense of self-worth, scholastic competence, and scholastic achievement.
If a mentor views a youth positively, that can initiate to change the youth’s view of her and can even initiate to change the way she thinks parents, peers, teachers, and others view her. In such cases, a mentor’s positive evaluation can gradually become incorporated into the adolescent’s stable sense of self.
This self-appraisal process is facilitated by the growing ability of adolescents to understand the world from the perspective of others and to view them from that standpoint.
Many lower income youth, particularly, have limited personal contact with positive role models outside the instantaneous family and believe that their opportunities for success are restricted (Blechman, 1992). Even among middleclass young adolescents, adult occupations and skills can seem ambiguous and inaccessible (Larson, 2000).
Mentors can serve as concrete models of success for youth, demonstrating qualities that adolescents might wish to imitate, and providing training and information about the steps necessary to achieve various goals. By observing and comparing their own performance and that of their mentors, adolescents can start to adopt new behaviors. This modeling process is thought to be reinforced through mentors’ support, feedback, and encouragement (Kemper, 1968).
Adolescents mentoring often aims to make students think better about themselves, particularly when they have a pre-existing low self-esteem that can be holding them back academically or result in challenging behaviors that put them at risk of school exclusion.
Enhanced self-esteem can be a by-product of being made to feel ‘special’, rather than ‘labeled’ as a problem, throughout selection and matching. Self-esteem is also expected to be raised by mentor behaviors that are non-judgmental, encouraging, positive and persistent over a period of time.
The befriending function of mentoring can play a significant role in raising self-esteem: the message is ‘this person wants to be and is my friend’. Minority-ethnic programmes that pair mentees with flourishing role models also often aim to heave students’ self-esteem.
The personal and social skills objective comprises such aspects as building the self-confidence of the mentees, which is often quoted as a constructive outcome of mentoring programmes (Golden and Sims, 1999). The self-confidence gained from mentoring may partially be a product of having sustained one-to-one discussions with an adult over a long period of time.
Early discussion of situations that are to be encountered and agreeing managing strategies can build confidence. Similarly mentors often support students to try personal challenges that permit the mentees to succeed and to feel more confident as an effect. Mentors can as well assist with developing interpersonal skills, for example, how to act when greeting and meeting new people. In some forms of mentoring the mentor has an overt role to develop the life skills of the student.
The motivational objective is decisive in providing the link between developmental and subject-oriented mentoring. Mentors can apply their questioning skills to discover why students are underperforming in certain subjects.
They can give confidence students to set aside personal dislikes of particular teachers and to work harder in a subject as it is significant for them in their future career. Mentors can also help students to prevail over the demotivating impact of negative peer pressure.
Grades are only expected to improve if students are making more effort in class and at home, and the mentor has a role in providing additional extrinsic motivation, as well as encouraging students to desire to perform better for themselves.