On Saturday mornings if I'm not in my bed, I prefer to be on a beach, at the mall or in a city other than the one I live. Last Saturday, I spent two and a half hours in mentor training... It was amazing. The trainer was full of life and was anti-reading the materials. She did a lot of role playing and it was crazy because you couldn't tell when she was in character or out of character.
She looks at me and says "I was going to wear my hair natural, but that was too much work. Everyone doesn't look good with natural hair, chile."
I was like O_O
But she was acting. Then she went into how we need to keep our judgmental attitudes to ourselves, etc. Besides the roleplay there were two things that I found very helpful.
1. A chart that showed how different people could react to the same situation with a child/student/minor. There were four categories: parent, teacher, mentor, friend. It really gave practical advice about how we should speak to our mentees and what's crossing the line. (We're not their homies, but we're not their parents. We're also not their therapists, etc.)
2. The second thing I found super helpful was calling out a list of words that a mentor should be and not be:
Should be: inspiring, available, open, passionate, FUN (and a host of other words I can't remember right now)
Should not be: Distracted, judgmental, mean, preachy, boring (and a host of other words I can't remember right now), inconsiderate.
As life is always a teacher, the trainer said it's not just in our mentoring, but in real life we shouldn't be the things on the "do not" list. And in real life we should be the things on the "do" list. Basically a wonderful mentor is a wonderful person. What a fabulous reminder to me to not be a jerk.
Coming up soon[er or later]: A list of the 18 things I had to do to become a mentor. I'm getting closer!