Here Comes Summer!
The last day of school this year for most students is just around the corner. Some of you will be ending your relationship with your student at the end of the year because of changes in their circumstances or yours and some of you may be just be saying good bye to your student for a couple of months. Others may be continuing the relationship over the summer. Either way, the end of the year is always an emotional time but it's also a good time for reflecting.

 

It's also a great opportunity for strengthening your relationship and can help ensure that you and your student capitalize on the progress you made together this year.

 

At your last meeting (whether it's just for this year or for good), you should talk about your student's strengths and what the relationship has meant to you. You can also ask your student to reflect on what he or she thinks they gained through the relationship and what their favorite things about the time your spent together were.

 

If you are brave, you can ask them what they think your strengths are - or how they would describe you!

 

Here are a couple other ideas for your last meeting:

 

  • Give your student a letter where you write about the many positive qualities and abilities you've observed in them and what the relationship has meant to you. You can also give some advice for the future.
  • Buy your student one of the books you enjoyed reading together (or one you know they will enjoy) and inscribe it with a personal message.
  • Make a friendship bracelet together.
  • Create an end-of-the year scrapbook. (Cut out letters from magazines to form words that describe your student's strengths or cut and paste images about the things you enjoyed doing together - or would like to do together).
  • Give your student a journal and ask him or her to write down their thoughts and feelings about things that happen over the summer. They can also make a list of the things they want to talk about with you when you see each other again. (If you have been keeping an Elevating Journal, flip through it together and discuss the highlights).
  • Write your student a letter of recommendation on your letterhead. (In your other sessions with your student this month you can ask them about what types of jobs they would want to apply for in the future).

 

Tangible things that remind your student of their strengths are a very powerful tool.   Kids are visual so the best way for them to remember the highlights of your relationship and the progress you made together is by having something they can look back at, time and time again.

 

Its hugely important for kids to continue to get the message over and over again, that they have strengths, that you have faith in them and in their abilities and that you believe that they can accomplish anything they put their mind to. Often they receive contrary messages from others in the community or have already labeled themselves as someone who isn't going to amount to anything. It can be difficult to change a negative feedback loop. But by constantly reinforcing positive messages and reminding them of their strengths, you can change their mindset - and their future.

 

As the saying goes, "Believe you can and you are half way there."

 

Fun Questions for Conversation

Here are some ideas for questions you can ask you student that will help them reflect on the past year, allow them celebrate their accomplishments and also encourage them to think about what changes they need to make for next year:

 

The accomplishment I am the most proud of this year is. . .

 

This year I persevered when . . .

 

The five things I liked the most about this year are....

 

The three things that I need to work on this summer for next year are....

 

What strengths would my teacher from this year tell my teacher next year.....

  

Click here for an easy to use sample End-of-the-Year Reflection Book  

                               

 

Activity Ideas

National Teachers Day is May 6th and Mother's Day is May 10. Work with your student to create a card for their mother or teacher.

 

If its nice outside, blow bubbles, write on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk, play a game of "Horse" or help your student with spelling by coming up with different words for them to spell each time. (If you go outside, make sure that you are not alone with your student).

  

For May Day coloring pages, craft ideas, games and puzzles. Click here 

 

 

 


Book of the Month

A Beach Tail 

by Karen Williams  

"How will Gregory find his way back to Dad? Swish-swoosh . . . Gregory draws a lion in the sand. "Don't go in the water, and don't leave Sandy," warns Dad. But the sandy lion grows a tail that gets longer and longer-and soon Gregory is lost on the beach. This wonderful read-aloud book brings to life a summer experience that is all too familiar for young children. Karen Williams's rhythmic text has been paired with Floyd Cooper's brilliant illustrations, revealing the trip down the beach entirely from a child's point of view. A gentle father-son bond is shown in both text and art, reassuring young readers even as they share in Greg's moment of worry at finding himself lost and alone."




Notes and Reminders


We encourage you to post about your mentoring experiences on on your own social media pages or on the Education Elevators Facebook Page using  #Education Elevators.  If you prefer, feel free to email your stories and photos to: allison@educationelevators.org

 

"Kindness in words creates confidence.  Kindness in thought creates wisdom.  Kindness in giving creates love

- Lao Tzu