Orientation and Training of Success Mentors
The district should develop a standard orientation and training for elementary success mentors that can be offered centrally or at each school site. If training will take place at the school, take steps to develop the capacity of site coordinators to orient and train incoming mentors.
The initial training should review the role of the success mentor, and provide an overview of the seven key elements discussed in What Does an Elementary Success Mentor Do?. Use scenarios, such as a first call home when a child is absent, to prepare success mentors and make sure the mentors know how to get help if they need it. This initial training should also discuss the issue of confidentiality and ensure that success mentors understand the importance of taking very seriously the need to keep private the knowledge they may gain about the challenges facing a child or family. The training should also provide guidance to the mentors about how they can talk to the mentees about their responsibility to report situations that may put the mentee or other students at-risk. The district could create an initial 2-3 hour orientation and training with guidance about how the site director can follow-up with support through short monthly meetings or phone calls. Districts can partner with their Mentor affiliates and request technical assistance for delivering a training to the success mentors and site directors.
Once success mentors are in place, a key role of the site coordinator is to serve as the on-going contact for the success mentors at their school. Ideally this would occur through regularly scheduled group or individual check-ins as well as by encouraging success mentors to contact the site coordinator whenever they need support or problem-solving.
MENTOR can provide training at no cost to local practitioners who want to participate in a Success Mentors program. MENTOR’s National Mentoring Resource Center provides training and technical assistance at the local program level, and offers tools, resources, and reviews of mentoring research and best practices.
MENTOR has developed a guide that addresses unique challenges faced by boys and young men of color. The guide, published in May 2016, offers concrete tools and training resources to help mentoring programs, including Success Mentors schools, incorporate best practices for serving boys and young men of color.
MENTOR’s blog post introduces this work and explores the significance of the guide, as well as how it can best be used for mentoring programs serving boys and young men of color.