Number and Duration of Meetings
The mentor meets with each mentee at least once a month. The meeting is one-on-one where the mentor can give his full attention to the mentee. Accidental conversations in the hallway, quick checkups, group meals, sideline chit-chat, etc., although encouraged and quite effective some times, do not take the place of a mentorship meeting. Although a meeting may be longer, especially at the beginning of the year, 15 minutes will quite often be sufficient. For Lower School students, 5-10 minutes will be in most cases sufficient.
Nature and Scope of Advice Given
Mentorship seeks to help each boy in the areas suggested in the mission of the School: intellectual, moral, physical, and spiritual. But before explaining each area in detail, there are some general considerations that are worth discussing. The conversation between the mentor and the mentee should have a relaxed tone — an exchange among friends. It should have the tenor of a friendship of an older brother with a younger one, or a father with a son. There are certain subjects that should be brought up regularly that the mentor should be familiar with:
- School Work
- Reasons for good/bad grades
- Study habits
- Anticipating possible problems
- Reading for pleasure
- Temperament and Personality
- General temperament: extrovert, introvert, calm, nervous, etc.
- Strengths and Weaknesses
- Human refinement: language/dress/personal grooming
- Family Life
- Charity to parents and siblings
- Use of time
- Obedience to parents
- Responsibilities at home: chores; spirit of service; example to younger siblings
- Moral Formation and Character
- Learning to choose the good
- Seeking truth
- Use of technology
- Respect for women: mothers, sisters, friends
- Courage to do and say the right thing
- Life of Faith
- Taking advantage of the spiritual activities at School
- Serving others
- Learning to pray
- Aspirations: What is the mentee looking forward to?
- Worries and Concerns
The Mentor/Mentee Conversation
The mentor should always make the mentor/mentee conversations an occasion for the mentee to feel he is understood. It’s not the time for reprimands or guilt trips, but quite the opposite. The mentor tries to create an environment where the young person opens up because he feels he is being heard. This, of course, is particularly important for older students as they are trying to exert their own personalities. The mentee should know from the beginning that this conversation is not a time to complain about teachers or his parents. The mentor will listen and help the boy understand why his parents want this or that or why that teacher gave that assignment.