A unique one day or half day presentation for educators seeking an alternative to improve the well being and engagement of 'at risk' students.
This groundbreaking program has, over the past two years, trained an array of school staff in the art of mentoring students who experience learning, social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. It has become the quiet achiever building capacity in schools to companion students in need of that little extra care and encouragement.
For many staff, this workshop has marked the beginning of a wonderfully inspiring journey!
Mark offers a refreshing workshop to outline this new program that has also been picked up in several school districts in the United States and is currently being examined by the Ministry of Education in New Zealand as an adjunct to support disadvantaged and 'at risk' students.
The idea of mentoring is very old, yet the introduction of mentoring in schools is new.
The term mentor was first seen in Homer's Odyssey when Athene took the image of mentor and was given the responsibility of guiding Telemachus when his father, Odysseus, was away. More recently, workforce mentoring is has become an effective means to benefit all - the morale and culture of the organisation itself, the younger, less experienced employee, the mentors themselves and other employees - by increasing skills, self-confidence, flexibility, care and knowledge.
Within our own lives many of us can relate how a mentor's interest and encouragement made a difference. The mentor may have been a teacher, a school support officer or a school counsellor, and in other circumstances, mentoring may have taken place outside school through a friend or relation. What is universal is that the student felt their mentor believed in them, helped them to discover more about themselves, helped them to develop goals and maintain motivation.
New evidence based research shows that mentorship benefits all involved, and that mentoring is more valuable than we ever dreamt. What appears universal in quality mentoring relationships is that the mentee sees their mentor believing in them and valuing them. This very special relationship is now recognised as a healthy, sustainable approach to transform the well being and connectedness of students to school and learning.
The 'Mentoring Program'
Developed and facilitated by Mark Le Messurier, the program provides for ongoing friendship and support from a caring, stable adult working within the school system. Students (mentees) meet with trained staff volunteers (mentors) at school in regular face-to-face meetings each week to review the week, to plan and monitor progress and to discuss social, emotional and academic issues they may be experiencing. The program provides opportunities for teachers, educational support officers, administrative and ancillary personnel to develop thoughtful approaches and skills to mentor students of all ages on a one-to-one basis.
Lisa, an educational support officer, who has been mentoring a year 9 student with oppositional difficulties over the past 12 months says, “It's made the world of difference for him, and for those who work with him. Just knowing that someone is in his corner has taken the edge from his reactive behaviours.” As one teacher commented during a training day, “What's brilliant about this program is that it's so down to earth. Anyone can do it, and there is continuing support. The program makes such a difference to students who need that added connection and encouragement.”
Preparation for the workshop
It will be helpful to come along with a student in mind who you feel is likely to benefit from a mentoring relationship with yourself. Spend a little time gathering some background information about this student as there will be an opportunity to discuss their profile and consider a way forward.
During the course of the day the following aspects, amongst others, will be addressed;
Workshop objective and beyond
By the end of the day's workshop participants will be ready to begin a mentoring relationship with a student in their school.
At this time, a group of inspirational staff are quietly taking special care of more than 200 of the most vulnerable students in South Australian Catholic schools. The hope is that gradually, more and more 'at risk' students will be supported by the amazing ripple effect that is beginning to radiate from this uplifting program.
If you are interested in this workshop apply early as it is always in strong demand.
Alternatively, if you are part of the Australian Catholic Education system training details training details can be found at http://online.cesanet.adl.catholic.edu.au/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-293
A full set of 'Mentoring Workshop training notes' can be found by clicking