How can You be a Friend and a Mentor at the Same Time- A Pathway to keep the Innocence in the Relationship Intact
All the relationships in our lives have a pinch of friendship in it. The only difference lies is in dissolving. In certain relationships friendship dissolves and becomes evident quickly but in varied relationships, friendship stirs layer by layer. A mentor is one of those people with whom students share a respectful and a courteous relationship. Therefore, to understand a student’s real-self, teaching is not the only street printed. One needs to stir harder, create an essence of friendship in order to bond with the child, be a mentor and a friend at the same time. Hence, below given are certain ways on how you can be a friend and a mentor at the same time.
1- Think like a mentor but act as a friend: Every day you are ready with your content and the terms which you’d use while teaching. And when the time arrives to teach, a mentor should communicate as a friend, liberally instead of being authoritative. In such a way, you can create an atmosphere where a child is able to question you freely and there is no room for awkwardness.
2- Listen more instead of speaking: “If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.” -Robert Baden-Powell. For a change, let the ears do their work. Listening to your student carefully and compassionately, it helps you to connect and build a translucent relationship. The student will feel safe and free to share with you his/her ideas, dreams, grievances, etc.
3- Step out: A student-teacher conversation is imagined in confined walls of the school. But a student, including a mentor outside the classroom setting is a different person altogether. So, a mentor can plan a day out with the students engage them in some interactive activities that will help each other to gel and know the other side of them effectively. It would prove to be instrumental to build a strong foundation between them, in and out of the classroom.
4- Lead the Way Instead of Showing it: Isn’t it just better than being a part of the journey of a student’s life rather than being the outline of it? In the midst of confusions a student approaches you to help him create an alternative path and solutions. So, here is your opportunity to mould a way out and carve a new chapter along with them.
5- Don’t become a master, become a partner: Yes, you’re the mentor, the master of the subject you’re teaching. But you too are involved in the learning process along with your students. Hence, if you, for once in a while keep aside the master in you and become a fellow partner of your students, you will get to know them on a root level. They will be your companions and you, their confidante.
Therefore, a student-mentor relationship is not just limited to desks and blackboards, classrooms and period bells, text books and test papers. It is the most sacred relationship that each child and a mentor can ever have in their lives. Being a friend and a mentor helps you to unwind the rush within the child’s mind and create a new surface filled with freedom to talk, share and love without being hesitant about the consequences and limitations.