As the school year starts, one thing that my school does is a very good program called “Little Spartans, Big Spartans.” This program is designed after the Little Brothers, Big Brothers program. I really this program for the fact that it gives our high school students the chance to volunteer their time during the school day and work with children in middle and elementary school.
As this program gets rolling it out I started to think about the type of mentorships that would be successful for gifted children. Before you can begin to set up mentorships for gifted children we have to make sure the child is mature enough. The student should be an independent learner, a diligent worker, and have a passion to learn more about a subject matter that is beyond the school walls. The student must have the temperament to understand that the person mentoring them is a profession in the field they are interested in and go in wanting to learn from them as much as possible. When the student takes this into view the mentorship will be successful.
The benefits of being in a mentor / mentee relationship are many, but here are a few that I feel are most important:
Benefits for the Mentee:
- Student gets real world experience
- Students get an increased knowledge base of the topic or subject
- Students can get an increased passion for the topic or subject
- Student gets a role model
- Student can show growth in an area of giftedness (academic, leadership, creativity, visual arts, and / or performing arts)
Benefits for the Menor:
- Mentor can have the opportunity to share their passion for their area or interest
- Mentor can have the satisfaction of helping another who may be interested in going into the same field as them, which makes someone’s life better
- Mentor gets the chance the chance to have a 1- on-1 relationship with a young person
- Mentor gets the chance to mold a young person’s perception of their area or passion
To have a successful mentor program, students and mentors just can’t be thrown together. There must be set goals, and objectives that must be met so success can be measured. Communication must be open between mentor and mentee.
Mentorships can be a very successful program within your school or community. It has to be done carefully, purposefully, and with the utmost importance. It needs to be gotten tight the first time.