By Jamie Anderson
Bright and early on Monday morning, October 14, (Native American Day), thirty dedicated high school students gathered in the school library to begin the process of mentor training. I say dedicated because it was a day off of school for Wagner, and, while they could have been sleeping in, they chose to come in and become mentors. Mr. Sanderson planned it this way because he knew, if someone truly wanted to become a mentor, he or she would sacrifice his or her personal time to become one. Mr. Sanderson also said that sacrificing time is a part of mentoring because students use their SRB's and study halls to be with their mentor children.
The day started off at 8:30, in which students were assigned a number 1-5 and then welcomed to help themselves to the donuts and juice sitting on a table when they first walked in. Then with whichever number a student received, that was the table at which he or she was suppsed to sit. We all were handed a packet that said, "10 STEPS TO BEING A SUCCESFULL MENTOR.. The first page said to assign everyone at the table a job of a group leader, time keeper, a go-fer, volunteer, or a reporter. After that we were ready to start learning.
The first things we learned about were understanding mentoring and the benefits of mentoring. In the packet there would be a question like, "What are the most obvious benefits of mentoring for the student being mentored, for the school, and for you?" Then we would answer them as a group. My group answered: 1. Helps with scholarships, 2. Helps improve student's reading/math/social skills, 3. Sense of accomplishment.
As we worked on the packet, sometimes Mr. Sanderson would have us do an activity or watch a video to help us understand mentoring more. We did that until 12 o clock. Then we got to eat pizza and cookies for lunch. We resumed our training at 12:30. We continued working and reading through the packet, playing activities that involved learning about mentoring, leadership, and teamwork.
One activity that sticks out to me was everyone had a partner, and each person chose one person to be the mentor and one to be the mentor kid. Then, for two minutes, we would have to pretend we were meeting our children for the first time. It was difficult for many people to think of questions to ask, From there, as a group, we brainstormed different questions to ask our mentor kids.
Throughout the day, we learned a great deal. The ten steps were very helpful to becoming a great mentor. We learned all about how to find time to mentor., being a role model, selecting our children, being effective, and fun activities.
At 3:30, we were dismissed to leave, and I feel that we learned a great deal of helpful informaiton. Then, that next week, we would get to choose our mentor kids, meet their teachers, and put our new skills into work!