FHMP Resource Guide
Fountain Hills Mentor Program Resource Guide
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The Fountain Hills Mentor Program is a Public/Private Partnership between the
Fountain Hills Unified School District, the Golden Eagle Education Foundation and
members of the community. Congratulations on signing up to become a mentor and
your interest in making a difference in the life of a young person. Often people start off
mentoring thinking that it will be “work” for the grownup and “fun” for the child. Pretty
soon, mentors find out that it’s just as much fun for them. The pages which follow
include many of the suggested procedures, tips and strategies about the Program and
Thank you for your time, your commitment and your caring. You will make a difference!
To be a catalyst to encourage and assist the Fountain Hills educational system in
offering our children the opportunity to reach their maximum potential through mentoring.
“Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.”
Lady Bird Johnson
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In order to promote volunteerism in our schools it is essential for all school/adult
community volunteers to adhere to a professional code of ethics. We ask that
volunteers pay special attention to the following:
1. ATTITUDE: Please come to school with a good attitude, one that will say to
the principal and teachers, “I’m glad you asked me to help you” and one that
will say to the individual you are working with, “You are so special I’m glad
that I have an opportunity to work with you.”
2. DEPENDABILITY: Make the professional commitment — being counted on.
Teachers and students are planning activities around your skills. Keeping
your commitment — part of the bargain — is very important for you and for
others. Please notify the appropriate person if you are unable to come at
your committed time. Don’t be a “no show” mentor.
3. COMMUNICATION: We want your volunteer work to be a learning activity for
you so if you have questions as to policy and procedures, please ask the
appropriate person, Jeannie Ryan at (480) 664-5262 or Sandy Davis (602)920-0505.
4. CONFIDENTIALITY: You will have access to student, teacher and adult
confidences, abilities, successes, struggles and other personal information.
Please remember that such information must be left in the classroom and
with the people responsible for conducting classes or for supervising the
activities you are involved in. As volunteers, our responsibilities are to
maintain the confidentiality of learning centers, and we do not want to share
information which can be detrimental to any individual or group.
5. SUPPORT: As volunteers, we have placed ourselves in the role of
support– support for the teachers, principal, or for the community
responsible for running and maintaining the programs we serve.
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We will demonstrate the appropriate behavior and courtesy for the principal of
the building and the professional staff who are ultimately responsible for the
education of all individuals that attend classes in the school.
As a school/adult community volunteer adhering to a professional code of ethics, you
are part of the school team whose goal is to provide opportunities for all individuals to
learn! You are a Professional school/adult community volunteer.
(Source: Volunteers in Public Service: A Handbook for School/Adult Community Volunteers)
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A mentor is an adult who provides young people with support, counsel, friendship,
reinforcement and constructive example. The most critical role for a mentor is to be
an adult who has time for the youth, who cares about that child, who believes inthat child.
This relationship may provide the ONLY stability a young person knows,
and the only time anyone spends quality time with the mentee.
Commitment to be involved for an extended time period – six months to one year at a minimum
Persistence and willingness to “hang in there” through the ups and downs of a relationship
Respect for individuals
Appreciation of individual ability and skill levels
Ability to empathize and understand another person’s struggles in a non-judgmental manner
Flexibility and openness
Desire to learn from others’ experiences and willingness to share one’s own personal experiences
Sensitivity to differences and a respect for individual perspectives
Interest in helping to identify and develop strengths in young people
Understanding that communication is a two-way street
Using life experiences in a variety of ways to enhance the lives of others
Recognizing that relationships take time to develop and that both mentors
and young people can learn from each other.
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A trusted friend
A responsible and reliable adult
A link to other cultures, attitudes and behaviors
A good listener
What a Mentor Isn’t:
A substitute parent
A cool peer
A parole officer
A source of funds
“To look up and not down/To look forward and not back,
To look out and not in and/To lend a hand”
Edward Everett Hale
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Helps children in our community start school with the necessary skills for success
Supports teachers and administrators and their educational efforts to develop
responsible and successful future leaders
Reduces the number of students at-risk for dropping out of school
Helps prevent substance abuse in children
Improves a child’s self esteem
Offers volunteers a sense of personal gratification and enjoyment
Provides volunteers with a deeper understanding of the demands
young people face.
Fulfills responsibility to the community
Vastly improves the student’s relationships with parents, guardians and adults
The number one indicator of success for a child is a good
relationship with a caring adult.
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“I have two students that have been with the same Mentor for years. This
Program is such a positive experience. My students look forward to their
mentoring time each week.”
“The Mentoring Program is very rewarding for students and teachers”
The Mentor Program gives children the individual, specialized attention that
some of them need. For one little boy, it truly helped build his confidence.”
“Those children going on to Four Peaks want to continue with their Mentor.”
“My Mentored students have a critical need for strong, positive role models.
Thanks to the Mentor Program, they have them.”
“I have been blessed with three of the most amazing Mentors this year. They are
so enthusiastic and are willing to go the extra mile.”
“S. actually raises her hand in order to participate in a class discussion. I really
don’t think she would have found the courage without her Mentor”.
“N. has made a tremendous improvement in the area of focusing thanks to the
time spent with her Mentor.”
“Since being Mentored, J. has been a lot more responsible in doing his reading
assignment. His self-esteem is a lot better.”
“I have noticed lots of positive changes and significant improvements in my
Mentored kids’ handwriting.”
“K. has been doing all his homework. He is attempting to do it correctly. He
appears to be a lot more focused…energized and organized.”
“The Mentored children became more sensitive to others.”
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Stage 1 – Developing Rapport and Building Trust
BUILDING TRUST TAKES WEEKS, SOMETIMES MONTHS.
One of the best ways to build trust is to help your mentee accomplish something
tangible that is important to him/her. For example, assist in following up on an interest,
getting involved in a club, or meeting someone important in a career field of interest.
TESTING MAY OCCUR.
Testing may occur particularly when mentees are from unstable backgrounds where
they have been repeatedly disappointed by adults. Testing is a form of protection from
Your mentee may come from a family where nothing can be taken for granted:
– People living in the household come and go.
– Frequent moves occur during the course of a year.
– The phone and/or other utilities may be turned on and off.
– Food may be unavailable at times.
Mentees may be slow to give their trust because, perhaps based on past experience
with other adults, they expect inconsistency and lack of commitment. During the testing
period, mentors can expect:
– Missed appointments.
– Phone calls not returned.
– Unreasonable requests.
– Angry or sullen behavior.
PREDICTABILITY BUILDS TRUST, SO BE CONSISTENT:
– Be on time for arranged meetings.
– Bring promised information and materials.
– Follow through on agreements and arrangements with your mentee.
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PROVIDE REASSURANCE THAT WHAT YOU DISCUSS TOGETHER IS
Early in the mentoring relationship, you should explain that:
– Nothing your mentee tells you will be discussed with anyone else.
– If you feel that it is important to involve another adult, it will be discussed first
with your mentee.
– If there is a threat of physical harm to your mentee or others, you must break
confidentiality to seek protection for the endangered person(s).
Though Stage 1 may not be difficult in all relationships, it may be in some. It is
important for you to be prepared for initial disappointments and frustration and to refrain
from blaming yourself.
Stage 2 – Reaching Goals
THIS CAN BE A TIME OF CLOSENESS IN THE RELATIONSHIP.
Once the testing is over, the rocky part of the relationship usually ends and exciting
progress may begin to take place.
A MENTORING RELATIONSHIP CAN TAKE MANY FORMS.
– The family-like relationship where you are felt to be part of the family and
contacts are frequent and intense.
– The important, less intense relationship where the focus is on accomplishing
tasks. Time together is limited to weekly contact required by the mentoring program.
Any variety of these forms has its value and you may find your relationship fluctuating
between them over time.
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NOT ALL MENTORING RELATIONSHIPS PROCEED SMOOTHLY.
When things are not working, you must explore these issues:
– The fit or match may not be right.
– Your mentee may have been so disappointed and damaged by earlier
experiences that he/she is unable to risk taking advantage of a helping
– Some mentor pairs will get stuck in the testing stage.
– You may feel burdened by the relationship and feel angry or annoyed by the
AS A MENTOR, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES
WITH AND RECEIVE SUPPORT FROM:
– Mentor Program Administrator
– Other mentors
– Resource persons, training and reference materials.
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Stage 3 – Terminating the Relationship
If the mentor must leave the program:
TERMINATING THE RELATIONSHIP IS A CRUCIAL PART OF THE
– The way the relationship ends can shape how your mentee thinks about and
learns from the experience.
– Mentors should discuss strategies and guidelines for ending the relationship
with their mentor program administrator.
– No matter what the strategy, if at all possible, plan ahead for the end of the
relationship with your mentee. Encourage your mentee to verbalize feelings
about the termination and help him/her to feel supported and in control by
planning future coping strategies together. Whatever you do, do not just
drop out of sight.
(Source: Each One-Reach One Mentoring Project)
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FOUNTAIN HILLS MENTOR PROGRAM Policies & Guidelines
Mentoring provides the perfect opportunity for each member of the community to
become directly involved in the future of our children. The following policies,
procedures and guidelines were designed to ensure that the Fountain Hills Mentor
Program is a quality program adhering to “best practices”.
1. Commit to a minimum of at least one hour per week throughout the school year.
2. Fill out the Mentor Profile and submit it to the Mentor Coordinator.
3. Mentors must attend the initial orientation training offered by the Fountain
Hills Mentor Program Council. The session will be about two hours long.
4. Keep track of the amount of mentor volunteer time. At the end of the school
year submit your completed hours to the Mentor Administrator.
5. Submit necessary information for a background check.
6. Remember that we are guests at the school, and although we are certainly
welcome and appreciated, we operate under their school rules.
7. Never engage in criticism of the teacher or principal.
8. All mentoring activities under the FHMP are to be held on school grounds,
during the school year, and during school hours. Any and all other activities
between a mentor and mentee are outside the scope of the FHMP. If a
mentor engages in activities with a mentee that are not on school grounds,
during the school year, and during school hours, the mentor agrees to
indemnify the FHUSD #98, the FHMP, the Golden Eagle Foundation,
and any of its employees and officers for any costs or liabilities which
may be incurred as a result of the activity.
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Many of the youth whom we work with have a strong need and desire for positive
physical contact with caring adults. You are encourages to be a positive role model;
however, you physical contact should be limited to giving a soft pat on the back or the
sharing of a hug in full view of the staff. Remember that what you see as simple,
friendly affection between the mentee and yourself may be viewed as something
entirely different by someone else.
All information you are told about your mentee is confidential and sharing that
information with others may be a violation of the law. Do not allow yourself to make a
promise to a youth that you will keep confidential information secret. Tell the student
that they are free to share confidential information with you; however, there are certain
things that you are required by law to tell your program contact. There are expectations
to this requirement of confidentiality, and it is critical, not only for the welfare of the youth, but
also to protect yourself from violating the law, that you adhere to these expectations:
If a mentee confides that he or she is the victim of sexual, emotional or physical abuse,
you MUST notify the student’s teacher immediately. Make a note on your calendar of when
this information as reported and to whom it was given. Remember, this information is
extremely personal and capable of damaging lives. So DO NOT share it with anyone except
the appropriate authorities. This includes your best friend!
If a student tells you of their involvement in any illegal activity you must tell the student’s teacher
immediately. Again, make a note on your calendar of when this information was reported and to
whom it was given.
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1. If you miss a mentoring session, please call the school and leave a message
with your student’s teacher. It is important to let your teacher and student know that
you did not forget about your session, but something unexpected came up.
Research has shown higher attendance on days when youth are being mentored. Your
student is counting on you! Model being a person of your word to your student.
2. For each of your mentoring sessions, follow the suggestions and direction given to
you by your student’s teacher.
3. Sign-in at the front desk every time you arrive on the school campus and wear
a name tag at all times while on school grounds.
4. Arrive on time, and end your session on time.
5. Confidentiality is mandatory. There may be opportunities when confidential issues
are shared with you, please do not discuss these issues outside the school.
6. If your student reaches out to you with problems which require specific kinds of expertise,
please contact your student’s teacher.
7. If your student match is not working out, BEFORE quitting, contact your teacher or the
Mentor Administrator so that an appropriate plan of action may be followed. Remember,
mentoring is about relationship building. It takes time to establish trusting relationships and
often children who most need mentoring put up the biggest barriers.
8. The FHMP does not offer any other mentoring benefits or activities for the student except
for those provided for on school grounds, during the school day, and during the school year.
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Mentors need to sign-up with the Mentor Administrator. Each mentor will receive the
mentor resource guide filled with helpful hints and guidance. All mentors will need to
attend an initial orientation training at the school. Each training session will last about two
hours in length. Along with the required training, there will also be optional meetings/focus
groups with other mentors to share your mentoring experiences and exchange ideas.
There are two styles of mentoring: One-on-One mentoring where one adult works with
one student; and Team Mentoring where two adults work with one or two students and
back each other up when they can not attend a session.
Mentors will go to the school and meet with their student at the appropriate mentoring
location (determined by the teacher – classroom, hallway or library) and on the agreed
upon day(s) and time.
Teachers will provide mentors with general information on what subject area the student
needs to develop and work on with their mentor.
All mentors will provide feedback on volunteer hours on the FHMP Evaluation Form
provided prior to the end of the school year. The form tracks the number of volunteer
hours donated in the mentor program. The form is necessary for tracking the number of
volunteers participating in the program and the total number of volunteer hours donated.
If for some reason a match between you and your student does not work well for either
or both of you, please contact the Mentor Administrator prior to ending your mentoring
commitment. The Mentor Administrator and School Administrators will work out a smooth
transition for both you and the student, and will work to get the student a new mentor as well
as the mentor a new student. From time to time, a mismatch will occur, and notifying the
Mentor Administrator can help to make the transition easy for all involved.
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In this program, as a mentor, you will be matched up with a student, using the mentor
and student profiles. Mentors will commit to a weekly amount of time (usually 45 minutes to one hour)
to spend with their student, on the school campus.
Mentors need to respect the student, and become the student’s confidant and role model,
helping to boost the student’s self-esteem. With guidance from teachers, mentors will help
young children gain skills and confidence to be responsible future leaders. As a mentor, you will
assist your student in obtaining improved academic and life skills while establishing a positive relationship.
Each mentor will receive basic guidance from their student’s teacher on how to assist their
student. There will, however, be time when you and the student decide what to do with your time.
Mentors should mix academic work with other activities to strengthen their relationship.
During each mentoring session, spend time talking and listening to your student, doing
academic work, and playing. Listed below are some ideas and suggestions for activities
that you may find useful while mentoring.
A student’s name is very important. Make sure you say the student’s name the way the
student wants it said. Learn to spell their name correctly.
Make sure the student knows and can pronounce your name. Wearing a nametag
will help the student remember.
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Be a careful listener. Show that you are interested in the student as a person.
Listen carefully to what the student has to say. Ask questions about favorite
activities, family members, good friends, and personal hopes and dreams. By your
words and actions, let the student know that you care. Don’t talk about his or her
home life, unless your student brings it up. It may be embarrassing to him or her.
Make it your first aim to become friends with your student. If nothing else is gained
in the mentoring sessions, the student will benefit from this personal relationship.
The student will be more willing to learn from someone he/she likes.
Relax and be yourself, keep a sense of humor.
Build your relationship slowly and keep it growing by your acceptance of the student,
your faith in his/her ability, your honesty, your sensitivity, and your trustworthiness.
Never promise something that you cannot follow through or produce.
Students make mistakes. Let them know that making mistakes is part of learning.
Do not be afraid of making mistakes yourself.
Build the student’s self-confidence. Praise your student honestly and frequently.
Remember attentiveness and effort can be as important as performance.
Accentuate the positive; minimize the negative.
Be patient. Students learn at different rates and in different ways. Any sign of
progress, as little as it might be, will be your greatest reward. Most underachievers
work more slowly on academic problems, often because they are less secure.
Repetition is important. As many different ways as you can devise to get the
student to repeat what is being learned, the better it will be.
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Be sincere but praise any honest effort on his/her part. Look at failures as another opportunity
for another try at the same task. He/She should never see failures as negative, but remember,
a student quickly loses respect for the giver of undeserved praise.
If the student starts to digress from the work assigned, focus him/her back on the subject by saying,
“How does this apply to what we started talking about?”
You might find out from the teacher that a future assignment will require a lot of reading.
By reading the assignment with your student and seeing that he/she understands it well,
you could give him/her some help with personal self-concept which is one of your major goals.
End on a positive note.
(Source: Dividends, Seminole County School Volunteer Program)
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Your Mentoring Toolkit
Put your mentee first: During the session, concentrate on his/her needs and problems.
Leave yours at the door. Be flexible in your planning. If your mentee has something on
his/her mind, drop your plans for the session and focus on the immediate need.
Be your mentee’s friend, but not a buddy: A “friend” is a person who looks out for your
best interest. Therefore, a friend never allows you to do less than your best; a friend
does not allow you to shirk responsibilities; a friend does not allow you to do things that
will be harmful to you.
Approach your mentee on a basis of mutual respect: Your mentee has experienced
many things you have not and has knowledge you do not have. Show respect for these
things and do not belittle them for things not known or skills not yet required.
Take time to get to know your mentee: Some mentees will be very open; others will not.
In order to be of the most help, you must gain an insight into behavior. Some questioning
techniques that may help and will elicit more than the variations of “yes” or “no” include:
descriptive: What is it like? What kind of a situation is it?
Comparative: How are two or more things different or alike?
Try to have a positive influence on your mentee: The way you feel about life and
yourself influences the way you treat other people, and the way you treat other people
influences the way they feel about themselves.
Drop the authoritative role: Be an interested human being.
Communicate by transmitting attitudes and feelings: Do this by being yourself;
it is more effective than simply to use words.
Arrange the physical setting to be close to the mentee: Do not sit behind a desk or
across a table. Rather, share a table by having the mentee sit beside you.
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Talk ideally about one-third of the time when the mentee discusses a problem:
This gives the opportunity for the mentee to do most of the talking and shows that you
Ask questions that cannot be answered with yes or no: Instead of saying, “Do you
like the class?” say “What do you like or dislike about the class?”
Ask questions which show a personal interest in the mentee: Do not sound like an
Do not interrupt the mentee when he/she is talking: This communicates that what is
said is important. However, if the mentee digresses from the subject, say “How does this
apply to the subject we started talking about?” or “What does this mean to you?”
Give the mentee silence in which to think: Realize that there will be periods of silence
while thinking occurs. This takes practice, for in normal conversation, silence produces a
feeling of awkwardness. Realize there are different kinds of silence. Pause before talking.
The mentee may wish to make additional remarks. A pause of a few seconds may enable
conversation to continue.
Move the focus from intellectual thought to emotional responses when feelings
are being discussed: Ask questions such as, “What does this mean to you?” and
“How did you feel about that?”
Observe and interpret nonverbal clues: Notice body movement, finger tapping and
other obvious clues.
Be alert to notice the change in the rate of speech, a change in the volume of speech,or a
change in the pitch or tone of voice: Such changes may indicate that there are emotional
feelings connected with the subject being discussed and that the subject needs further exploration.
Use brief remarks. Do not confuse the student with long complicated questions or comments.
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Don’t give lectures on ways to behave: Ask the mentee to suggest alternatives. But
allow the mentee to make the decision. Together look at the consequences of the alternatives.
Share common experiences with your mentee, focusing more on the mentee and the
Clarify and interpret what the mentee is saying: Use remarks such as “What you are saying
to me is Q” at other times, make a summarizing remark. But be sure to make these brief
interpretations only after the mentee has presented the idea.
Do not be alarmed at remarks made by the mentee: Instead communicate a feeling for the
mentee and a desire to see and understand the problem; do not appear to be overly concerned
or to assume the mentee’s problem.
Do not make moralistic judgments: Instead focus on what is behind the mentee’s behavior.
Ask yourself: “What is there about this person that causes the behavior to occur?”
As a mentor do not blame the mentee for failures; try to understand why there has been a failure;
accept the failures and go on from there.
Be sincere in your praise of the mentee: Always praise the attempt as much or more than the
right answer. Give positive reinforcement whenever possible. Do not reject the mentee through your
remarks or nonverbal clues, but instead attempt to be accepting: Try not to show impatience!
Do not threaten or argue; guard against any act that might appear to belittle.
Do not ignore a problem: Seek immediate help from your student’s teacher or the Mentor Coordinator.
You do not need to handle areas which require expert assistance from staff. Leave tough areas to them.
When in doubt, ask!
Do not become quickly discouraged: Some of the mentee’s behavior patterns have taken a long time to
develop. Although some improvements may appear, permanent changes in behavior come closely.
Mentors become impatient wand want change overnight. You must be patient. It may take ten years before
a mentee says: “Do you know who made a difference in my life? My mentor when I was in second grade.”
(Source: Nu:Kud N-Nawoj Taking Care of My Friend Mentor Manual, Dr.
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“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to
share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”
For conflict in which the student has little-to-no influence* in the outcome of the problem,
you can assist the student in two ways: be an empathetic listener and help the student plan
for future problems.
To be an empathetic listener, try using the following statements to reinforce what your student
is telling you:
What I hear you saying is…
It seems to me that you are feeling…
So what you are saying is…
Let me see if I understand what you are saying…
To help your student be better prepared to deal with future problems that may arise,
ask the following questions:
How can you prevent this from happening again?
What will you do if this occurs in the future?
What have you learned from this incident?
What are some benefits/drawbacks from this experience?
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For conflict in which the student has influence** in the outcome of the problem, you will want
to do five things: be an empathetic listener, examine other perspectives, generate solutions,
evaluate solutions, and develop a plan for carrying out the solution. Below are some questions
to help you.
1) To be an empathetic listener, try using the following statements to reinforce
what your student is telling you:
What I hear you saying is…
It seems to me that you are feeling…
So what you are saying is…
Let me see if I understand what you are saying…
* The student is not in a position to influence the outcome. This is especially true when the
student is dealing with authority figures (teachers, principals, etc.) who are charged with
enforcing rules that cannot be bent or broken.
** The student is able to influence the outcome by his/her actions. This is especially true when
dealing with peers. The student has the power to change his/her behavior and/or develop
solutions to the problem.
2) Examine Other Perspectives
Tell me what you think the other person is thinking/saying about this incident.
How do you think the other person is feeling?
What do you think has caused this person to act this way?
How is this affecting the other person?
3) Generate Solutions
How do you see this situation being resolved?
What are you willing to give to resolve the problem?
What are you wanting from the other person?
What are you willing to give up if the other person gives you what you
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4) Evaluate Solutions
Which of your ideas for a solution do you think the other person will accept?
Of the solutions you’ve come up with, which do you think is most fair?
5) Develop a Plan
When, where, and how will you talk with this person?
If talking with this person does not work, what will you do?
(Adapted from a hand-out by Martha L. Trevino, San Antonio, Texas, 1993.)
1. Be willing to share something you value with your student – your time, humor,
your feelings and values, even an occasional M&M.
2. Make the first experience with the mentee – the first day, the first week – as positive
as possible. First impressions last and bad ones are difficult to overcome.
3. Guarantee successful learning by breaking instruction into small enough units so that
something is learned every session.
4. Encourage the student by giving recognition for effort, by minimizing initial mistakes, by
dividing difficult tasks into several shorter segments. Show faith in the student as a learner.
5. Encourage participation, rather than reserving praise until the task is completed.
6. Allow the student to make as many choices as possible about how, what, and
when something is to be learned.
7. Be alert to restlessness in students and work to relieve the causes producing it.
8. Keep a 5 x 7 card on your student noting interests, goals an accomplishments,
and acknowledge your student’s birthday. (a small journal kept in the car is great)
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9. Encourage divergent thinking and creativity in the learning process. Make “work playful,
learning artistic, and thinking emotional.” Allow intuition, guessing, and estimation in problem solving.
10. Assign some projects in which there are choices of topics and/or modes of expression
(skits, newspapers, interviews, displays, reports, diaries, models, etc.).
11. Encourage active participation in the learning process through games, group projects,
manipulations of materials, and student self-evaluations.
12. Maintain a positive sense of unpredictability. Stay aware of the moment, trust your feelings,
and be spontaneous. Stay in touch with the student subculture. Don’t be afraid to take a few risks.
13. When a student seems unmotivated, objectively describe her/his behavior, and ask an
open-ended question to facilitate understanding and resolution of the issue. Avoid sounding judgmental.
14. Create a positive climate by avoiding unannounced strategies, speech that is used to control
students, non-caring behavior, dogmatism and certainty, and communication that implies superiority.
Be exploratory and investigative of issues and problems.
15. For problems with students:
1) define the problem,
2) generate alternative solutions,
3) evaluate the alternatives with the student, and
4) decide on a mutually acceptable solution.
16. Following a successful learning experience, ask your student for opinions as to
how and what the critical processes were that helped her/him to achieve the learning.
(Source: USAA Mentors-Bag of Tricks Kit, p. 64-65.)
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All oral communication requires a sender and a receiver, a speaker and a listener. Without
listening, communication cannot take place. Most people spend about 40 percent of their
typical day listening, and they are more influenced by what they hear than by what they read.
In spite of the fact that listening is half of the oral communication process, listening is sorely
neglected as a communication skill.
Everyone craves a good listener, but few people train themselves to listen effectively. For
communication to be successful, listening must be done consciously and actively. Listening
is more than just hearing what a speaker says. Hearing is simply the receiving of sounds by
your ears. Listening, however, is interpreting — or making sense of — the sounds your hear.
Hearing is a physical perception; listening is a mental activity. It requires concentration,
cooperation, and an open mind. Many situations at work demand listening skills. Conferences,
interviews, receiving instruction, handling complaints — all call for alert, sensitive listening. You
may be listening in order to learn how to do a task, in order to make a decision, or in order to
achieve friendly relations with your co-workers. But in every case, it’s important to get beneath
the surface of what the speaker is saying. To do that you must listen with more than just your ears.
You need to be alert to tone of voice, facial expression, gestures, and posture. These vocal and
nonverbal messages supply added information that will help you to grasp the speaker’s meaning.
Good listening habits can be an important ingredient in your success. If you practice careful
listening, you’ll become more efficient in your job and more knowledgeable, and you’ll get along
with people better. You’ll understand clearly and remember the information and points of view that
you hear. Responsible, patient listening is a rare thing, but it is a skill that can be developed with practice.
(Source: Partners for Success, Volunteer Mentor Orientation and Training
Manual, The Enterprise Foundation.)
– 27 –
1. Maintain good eye contact.
2. Face your mentee head on.
3. Keep an open posture – don’t cross your arms and legs.
4. Lean toward mentee – show involvement in what he/she is saying.
5. Stay relaxed in your overall manner; show you are comfortable with the situation.
6. Be aware of the mentees and your own body language.
7. Listen for feelings as well as content – read “between the lines.”
8. Don’t confuse content and delivery – assume the mentee has something to say,
even if he/she is having trouble saying it.
9. Cultivate empathy with the mentee – try to put yourself in his/her place.
10. Avoid distractions – choose a comfortable and quiet place for your
11. Avoid time pressure for your meeting – whenever possible.
12. Don’t jump into the conversation too soon – let the mentee finish what
he/she is saying.
13. Pause a few seconds before giving feedback – you both need time to think.
14. Give the mentee time to correct a mistake – this shows respect.
15. Use simple gestures or phrases – to show you are listening.
16. Ask questions beginning with “What” or “How” – avoid questions with Yes
or No Answers.
17. Playback specific things a mentee says – that you’d like to discuss further.
(Source: The Mentoring Guide, New York State Mentoring Program)
– 28 –
My mentee’s name is __________________.
My Mentee has _____ brothers.
My Mentee has ______ sisters.
What things does my Mentee like/dislike?______________________________.
My Mentee’s favorite food is __________________.
My Mentee’s favorite color is ____________________.
My Mentee’s favorite TV show is __________________.
My Mentee has a pet. ______ Yes ______ No.
Pet’s name: ______________________________
My Mentee is sad when __________________.
My Mentee is happy when __________________.
My Mentee’s favorite sport is __________________.
My Mentee’s birthday is __________________.
Now reverse the questioning and answer the same as above for you, the mentor.
(Source: Nu:Kud N-Nawoj Taking Care of My Friend Mentor Manual, Dr.
Susan G. Weinberger)
– 29 –
Share life experiences
Share a silly joke
Listen to your student
Discuss school events
Put a puzzle together
Create a holiday, get well or greeting card for a special occasion
Relax and be yourself
Read the local paper together
Create a scrapbook of memories that last the entire year
Discuss current events
Share information about your job
Play a simple card game
Teach how to give a good handshake
Swap photos of each other
Take turns reading aloud to each other
Discuss safety precautions such as wearing helmets when riding bikes or
Write a short story and include pictures
(Ask your Mentor Coordinator to see the Resources, My Mentor& Me (The
Elementary School Years) and (The Middle School Years) for weekly activities
for mentors and mentees to do together)
– 30 –
Use the following sets of open ended sentences to generate discussion. If your mentee
is comfortable answering, these types of personal questions can be used to develop
your relationship and will build trust when you share answers with each other.
Student Interest Survey
1. The thing I like most about school is…
2. The thing I don’t like about school is…
3. The subject that is hardest for me is…
4. My favorite subject is…
5. The thing I like most about myself is…
6. If I could change something about myself, I would…
7. If I could have anything I wanted, it would be…
8. When I don’t do as well in school as I can, it is because…
9. When I have play time, I like to…
10. The career I would like is…
(Source: Los Angeles Unified School District Volunteer Office)
– 31 –
What is your favorite song?
What is your favorite outdoor game?
What is your favorite indoor game?
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite book?
What is your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite movie?
What kind of animals do you like?
Do you have any pets? If yes, what are their names?
What makes you sad?
What makes you happy?
What is your favorite sport?
What subject do you like most in school?
What is your favorite food?
Who do you most admire?
What do you want to do when you grow up?
– 32 –
READING A BOOK ALOUD TO YOUR STUDENT
Be a ham! The more enthusiasm you display, the more students will enjoy the book.
Run your finger underneath the words as you read to signal that the print carries the
story. (Grades 1 and 2)
Leave time for examining the illustrations more closely; encourage the students to
find things in the pictures.
Invite the students to join in whenever there is a repeated phrase in the text.
Link up events in the book with similar events in the student’s life.
If your student asks a question, stop and answer it. The book can be a means of
learning more about your student’s thoughts.
Based on the way most of us were taught to read, we have told the students to “sound it out”
when they come to an unknown word. While phonics is an important part of reading, reading
for meaning is the primary goal. To produce independent readers who monitor and correct
themselves as they read, the following prompts are recommended
BEFORE saying “sound it out”.
Give your student wait time of 5 to 10 seconds.
– 33 –
See what attempts are made to help him/herself, then ask the following:
“What would make sense there?”
“What do you think that word could be?”
“Go back to the beginning and try that again.”
“Skip over it and read to the end of the sentence (or paragraph).
“Now what do you think it is?”
“Put in a word that would make sense there.”
“You read that word before on another page. See if you can find it.”
“Look at how that word begins. Sound it out and keep reading.”
Most important, focus on what the student is doing well and attempting to do. Remain
loving and supportive.
When the student is having difficulty and trying to work out the trouble spots, comments
such as the following are suggested:
“Good for you. I like the way you tried to work that out.”
“That was a good try. Yes, that word could make sense there.”
“I like the way you looked at the picture to help yourself.”
“I like the way you went back to the beginning of the sentence and tried that again.
That’s what good readers do.”
“You are becoming a good reader. I’m proud of you.”
(Source: McDermott Elementary School)
– 34 –
School & Other Information
Jeannie Ryan c/o The FH Mentor Program
McDowell Mountain Elementary School
14825 N. Fayette Drive
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Web site: www.thefhmp.org
email: please email us through the contact page at www.thefhmp.org
McDowell Mountain Elementary School
14825 N. Fayette Drive
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Principal: Valerie Dehombreux
Kindergarten through 3rd Grade
Fountain Hills High School
16100 E. Palisades Blvd.”
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Principal: Cain Jagodzinski
9th Grade through 12th Grade
Four Peaks Elementary School
15414 North McDowell Mountain Road
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Principal: Anita Gomez
4th Grade through 5th Grade
Fountain Hills Middle School
15414 North McDowell Mountain Road
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Principal: Anita Gomez
6th Grade through 8th Grade
– 35 –
It is the goal of the Fountain Hills Mentor Program to provide a mentor for every
student in the Fountain Hills Unified School District.
The majority of our current mentors come to us through referrals. Because of the
positive experiences and stories shared, Fountain Hills mentors ignite the excitement
and passion of what it means to be a mentor to other members in our community.
If you know of a friend, family member, neighbor, other volunteer organization
associates, employers and employees, faith based attendees, book club and other club
colleagues, and believe they will enjoy the mentoring experience, please give them our
brochure, refer to our web site (www.thefhmp.org) or have them contact us at 480-664-5262.
At the nationally recognized Thank Your Mentor Day ceremony, held in January, mentors who
have participated in the referral program are given special recognition.
– 36 –
The Fountain Hills Mentor Program is a non–profit 501(C)3 organization housed under the
Golden Eagle Education Foundation. The Golden Eagle Education Foundation represents a
coalition of residents bringing together the business community, parents, and other dedicated
citizens to enrich the educational experience of the Fountain Hills, Ft. Yavapai Nation and Verde communities’ students.
When you make a tax deductible donation to the Fountain Hills Mentor Program, your funds help us afford
the much needed tools to support our mentors and grow the program.
Donation Dollars provide:
Background Checks, Teacher/Mentor Assignment Folders, Skill Development Resource
Boxes, Marketing Brochures, End of Year Celebration for Mentees and Mentors, National
Thank Your Mentor Day Breakfast Ceremony, Web Site Hosting, Training Manuals and Office Supplies.
Donations are sent to:
The Golden Eagle Education Foundation
P.O. Box 17113
Fountain Hills, AZ 85269.
Please make a notation that the donation is specifically for the FH Mentor Program.
Alternatively, you can visit our web site (www.thefhmp.org), and print a donation form available at the site