The fact is the culture of public schools is diminishing due to the continuation of traditional, factory like processes. In my opinion, these traditional processes only work for few high school students in today’s world. Teachers are not looked at as mentors because many of them have not been in any other job setting outside of academia. This poses a problem with authenticity. Many teachers only know the academia world and have never had to apply their knowledge in real world applications. In order to fill that gap of real world knowledge, schools should work with their communities to align mentors with each student.
What is mentoring and why every high school should have them within their communities to work with their students. Mentoring is a powerful tool that helps guide youth.
A mentor can provide an experienced, trusted advisor for high school students.
Mentors can also help students work through decisions regarding educational and career learning. Mentors can help youth navigate their high school experiences. Mentors also can provide students with resources that schools miss in curriculum regarding models of interdependence as independence.
The benefits can be felt for the mentor as well in these programs. Mentors can improve their communication and personal skills while working with youth. Mentors also have a window into the next generation of leaders while they work with students. Finally, any time you teach someone something, you reinforce your own skills and knowledge of your subject. Engaging in a volunteering opportunity is valued by peers and employees as well.
High Schools should put a priority on building mentorship programs for their students. Mentoring times should be built into the school day and curriculum. The 5 steps that a school should take to build the programs should be the following:
This mentoring program should be built around student interest. Schools will have to learn more about their students interests rather than teaching subjects first. Social emotional learning is a big piece of a mentoring program. Schools will have to focus on the students as individuals then tie the curriculum to their interests. It’s a mindset change for high schools. Mentoring is another way to bring authenticity into a currently outdated system.