Tuesday mornings are exciting for the Electricianeers! We walk down to the Ladybugs room to read to our Pre-K buddies. Faces are filled with smiles and books are flying off the shelves!
Why is mentoring important?
When we talk about mentoring, it's very easy to lean on the side of the social and emotional aspects of these kid-to-kid interactions. There are countless benefits that help ensure kids are healthy and happy through development of strong relationships with others. Every one of these benefits alone make any peer mentoring program worth the time and investment.
But we talk less about the other benefits. One big benefit being the development of leadership skills.
Forbes lists the top 10 leadership skills/traits as:
- Positive Attitude
It may come as a surprise to those who aren't familiar with peer mentoring programs, but these are the same traits necessary to be a successful mentor.
During our weekly mentoring we focus on the development of all of these skills. The program was created to give students an opportunity to be the best version of themselves.
Here are a few ways that happens.
1. Mentors are expected to guide and instruct their younger peers. Each activity we do is based on an age appropriate concepts. The 3rd graders are then expected to translate these ideas to the students through guided activities. This gives them an opportunity to learn how to give information, manage learning, and organize people.
Leadership skills practiced - Delegate, Communication, Positive Attitude, Approach
2. Mentoring students are expected to navigate difficulties, conflicts, and disruptions. Each mentor is paired with two or more students. Being pre-kindergarten age ensures that not every lesson goes as planned. There are adults nearby to monitor how things go, but we give each mentor space to handle their group as they see best.
Leadership skills practiced - Delegate, Communication, Inspire, Intuition
3. Mentoring students are expected to participate each week through the entire school year. Each week is a new lesson.
Leadership skills practiced - Confidence, Commitment
4. Each week, mentored students choose their mentors. This gives mentoring students a chance to develop long term relationships with younger students. It also puts them into the situation to deal with unfamiliar students.
Leadership skills practiced - Confidence, Honesty
So while these mentoring programs make for adorable pictures, cute interactions, and new friends ... they also develop the skills necessary for students to become future leaders.