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Why should I do it:

  • Provides a student with a personal connection and buy-in
  • Helps student to feel like someone “has their back”
  • Increases student morale
  • Improves student motivation
  • Source of accountability, encouragement, support, and advocacy
  • Helps student to perceive school, teachers, work in a more positive light

When should I do it:

  • When students are unsuccessful academically or behaviorally
  • When other intervention seem to fail
  • When a student is having significant issues getting along with others
  • When students exhibit very little motivation and effort or just do not seem to care about work and/or behavior
  • When students seem to have little guidance and/or support in the home
  • When a student seems suspicious of the school and staff
  • For those kids that always seem to get a bad bream and are perpetually in trouble and/or failing
  • When a student is frequently suspended and/or is in danger of expulsion
  • When a student does not seem to respond to anything else
  • When a student does not seem to have any significant connections to learning, academics, behaviors, etc

How do I do it:

  • Read the RESA mentoring presentation below. If you cannot open the document, save it to your desktop and then convert it from its current format, pptx, to a PowerPoint slideshow, ppt, using this website:
  • Mentors should be voluntary
  • Keep the student with one mentor, don’t switch around
  • Mentors should not set out to “fix” the student and all the student’s issues
  • Mentors should be supportive, encouraging, and engaged
  • The student/mentor relationship is all about connecting and establishing a rapport and trusting relationship
  • Mentors should try to do something fun or engaging with the student, like shooting a basketball, playing cards, or talking about a common topic of interest
  • Mentors should listen, listen, listen! Use active listening with students
  • Mentors should help students to set goals, plans, and solutions
  • Mentors only need meet with a student once a week for 15 or so minutes

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)


  1. McEvoy, C. School-wide Positive Behavior Support: Mentors. [].
  2. Carr, R. Tips for Mentors. [].
  3. Adapted by from mentoring program interviews conducted by MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership. TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS. [].
  4. Mentor Michigan. 20+ Ways to be a Great Mentor. [].
  5. Mentor Michigan. What If… [].
  6. Mentor Michigan. Mentor Guidelines. [].
  7. Mentor Michigan. Mentoring Activity Ideas. [].
  8. Katz, L. Tips for Mentors OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS . [].
  9. Stairs, K. (2008). Tips for teen mentors: How to make connections with teens . [].
  10. Philip, K. (2000). mentoring and young people. [].
  11. Price-Mitchell, M., Ph.D. (2013). The Moment of Youth. [].