GROWTH TAKES CARE
This month, we're talking about
four "growth" words
that mentoring relationships need in order to help students grow into healthy adults. Last week, we started with the necessary ingredient of time.
Time is necessary
, because it enables you to build trust and rapport with your student which in turn builds relational equity. But, time isn't all that's needed for growth...Care is also necessary.
Care starts with being a good listener. We communicate a lot about how much we care about people when we spend time with them by listening well and looking them in the eye when we're having a conversation with them. On the other hand, if we are easily distracted when we're spending time together, we communicate that we are too busy to really listen to them.
Care is also communicated through body language. Positive body language communicates acceptance and value. Through our body language, we can help our students feel seen, heard, and safe. We also need to remember that negative body language also communicates, and at the least, can make students feel like they are just another box to check off your to-do list for the day.
When we communicate that
, our students are more likely to feel seen, heard, and valued. So, how are you communicating to your student that you really care about them? Remember, it's important to listen well, and remember what you learn about your student from week to week. Ask good questions about things they talk about and then ask follow-up questions the next week to show that you really did hear them and that you care about them.
—Jason Matthews, Mentor Coach