The Heights | Mentorship

Mentorship

The Heights School, like any other educational institution, has a clear and distinct mission. A mission that sets it apart from other schools and gives it its character. This mission pervades every aspect of the School’s life: academic, athletic, and spiritual. The administration, the faculty and staff, and the School’s families work together in making this mission a reality for each student.The mission is accomplished through a rigorous academic program, competitive athletic teams, and a dedicated faculty and staff. What makes it all come together in the life of each boy is the Mentorship Program.

Mentorship seeks to assist parents in the intellectual, moral, physical, and spiritual education of their sons. Jacques Maritain, a philosopher of the Aristotelian tradition, once said in a lecture given at Yale University, “The prime goal of education is the conquest of internal and spiritual freedom by the individual person, or, in other words, his liberation through knowledge and wisdom, good will, and love.” (Education at the Crossroads, p. 11). In a sense, Mentorship seeks precisely that. It brings together “knowledge and wisdom, good will, and love”—all the different aspects of the School’s programs —academic, athletic, spiritual—into one single conversation. In so doing, mentorship helps each student reach his full potential both in his academic endeavors and in his personal formation as a man.

The mentorship effort is reinforced and made complete when the mentor works hand in hand with the boy’s parents. Cooperation between parents and mentor is what makes the mentorship program successful. This relationship is necessary because the parents are the primary educators of their sons and are the ones who know him best. The mentor, therefore, must work in tandem with the parents in a partnership for the good. Another component of the mentorship program is the interest and empathy the mentor shows for his mentee. The mentor looks out for his mentee. This is the most basic of all his duties. “How is he doing in class? What do his teachers say about his academic work? Is he interacting well with his peers?” The mentor thinks about each mentee. “What are his talents and weaknesses? What could he do with his gifts? How should he be developing academically?”

After observing his student and thinking about him, the mentor may point out things that the student may not realize about himself. A student may be reminded of the importance of using his time well on school nights. A second suggestion may be that it’s better to study certain subjects first and take care of others later. Another suggestion could be that he needs to get his binder in order. Counsel may be tailored to the boy’s personal struggle for virtue and excellence.

Mentors meet with their students often. Regular communication fosters fruitful conversation, goal setting, encouragement, support, and accountability. The mentor presents the mission of the School to each student so he may benefit from every opportunity the School offers.