From "I Hate myself" to "I'm Awesome" in about an hour a week
In one sense it seems almost too simple, too easy, but the fact remains, having another person come alongside you, who believes in you and is prepared to commit to helping you achieve your goals, is life changing. Mentoring is making a significant difference in the lives of many students across this region. Students with a dedicated 1 to 1 mentor show significant improvement in their relationships with their peers, family and friends.
Students with a Mentor have shown a significant change and transformation in their emotional resilience and a better ability to adapt to stressful situations resulting in improved social and educational outcomes. A direct result of this for students means they then have higher levels of engagement with learning, recognise their own responsibilities and develop self-regulation.
- Improvement in School work
- Better classroom behaviour
- Helps to create purpose and direction
- More likely to attend school
- Established sense of belonging
- Better relationships
An example in action
An example of this in action. One young man was identified prior to starting at High School as being unable to function in a mainstream classroom. His behaviour was erratic and highly disruptive in class. The school placed him in an intensive class environment that had maximum of 5 students at any one point in time and addresses learning in a different format.
He completed a class activity to answer two statements that started with I love…. & I hate… this young man placed I hate “myself” as his answer!
He was matched with a mentor and four weeks later the school gave some incredible feedback.
He had transitioned into a mainstream classroom and took the time to send an email back to the old teacher and wrote within the email the statement
“I’m awesome….” he also told them that as a class they had to predict their grades for that term. He told them he was going to get straight A’s and his new teacher agreed with him. He had a photo taken with his Certificate of A’s.
This young man had this ability inside him all the time. All he needed was positive people to come alongside and let him see it for himself.
What do School's say?
"The Connections Mentoring Programme makes a difference to the lives of the young people with whom mentors engage. Mentors provide a supportive, caring, non-judgemental adult who genuinely cares for and take an interest in the young people with whom they are matched. This often leads to significant shifts in the young person’s belief about themselves and their worth. We often see shifts in behavioural issues that have been an unconscious plea for support or intervention by the young person. We see young people more confident in their social interactions as a result of our mentors’ inputs.
And we see mentors who connect deeply with the young person they are supporting; fulfilled in knowing they are making a difference to the life of a young person and in the longer term, our community."
Mrs Shireen Thomas, Northern Principal Network Leader DoE, former Brooks High School Principal
"The mentoring program has shown immense benefits to the students who have been involved in the program. The fact that they have a significant adult in their lives who regularly turns up to spend time with them and just ‘be there’ for them is so important. The students look forward to the sessions each week as it is a time where they have the absolute attention of the mentor who quickly becomes a central figure in their lives.
The changes in students has been the most positive endorsement possible for the program. Confidence has grown in the students and the respect they have for their mentors has also seen improvements in behaviours as they now have another adult in their lives who takes an interest in them and they know that adult will be checking on how their education is going. Self-esteem has also been a major area of development as the students have a mentor who cares enough about them to come into school once per week just to spend time with them and support them in whatever way necessary."
Mr Paul Stevenson, Assistant Principal Exeter High School
"I overheard your student tell a teacher today how 'cool' you are and how 'wicked' it is to have a mentor!!"
Teacher, Exeter High School
What do the Mentor's say?
“Gives me a fresh purpose in life”
“Making a positive difference. Making a friend”
“Her happy face when she has grasped and achieved the word she is trying to pronounce and spell”
“I have loved seeing her push through her barriers to complete tasks that she adamantly declared she could and would never do. Her smile when I told her how proud I was of her courage and persistance was absolutely priceless.”
"I need to share something funny with you. She had 2 friends with her this morning who wanted me to mentor them as well! I know Jamie joked it would happen one day.. But I couldn't imagine it happening anytime soon!! Made my day.. And I had a great session with my student today too."
What do the Student's say?
“Having a mentor to me is a big help and it means the world that I have had the opportunity to have someone who is there to listen and just give advice and a even bigger help that I am no longer keeping things to myself and am very grateful”
“I think mentors are good people who help u through your problems and stand by your side, and they are like your best friend u can tell them anything and they won’t go telling everyone.”
Ok so what's involved?
If you have a heart for helping a young person journey to be aware of the amazing person they are inside and have about an hour a week available during school term (schools timetables vary from 60min to 90min blocks) then you're almost ready to go.
Mentors are supported in so many ways and we genuinely are a part of the school community.
Things you need to know:
- Connections Mentoring is a division of Teen Challenge Tasmania which is a faith based organisation. We adhere to all requirements of the Education Department for programs delivered into state schools including the secular nature of that environment.
- Our mentor training is based on Christian principles. You will be equipped to operate as a mentor within the school including mentoring skills, communication skills, boundaries, discussion techniques, self care, mandatory reporting and more in our 2 day training program. (completing training does not guarantee acceptance as a mentor)
- You will need to complete an application form.
- Interview following training (this determines final suitability in working in this program)
- Supported in Mentor dinners every two months & share stories
- Provided follow-up & feedback after sessions
- Complete Online Childsafe Training and Assessment
- Have Working with Vulnerable People Card
- Need to commit to a school year
- Flexible timetables to suit Mentors
- Become part of the School Community
- Many different activities available
- You will have an enormous amount of FUN
Where is the program run?
Northern Tasmanian Primary and High Schools