Mentor (noun) – an experienced and trusted adviser (Oxford English Dictionary)

What is Mentoring? (Handout for parents)

I work one-on-one with children and young people of all ages.

Children sometimes have difficulty fitting their unique natures into the environments in which they find themselves.

This is especially true for children with unique differences:

  • children with ADD/ADHD (diagnosed or undiagnosed)
  • children with “learning disabilities” (which I refer to as learning differences)
  • highly sensitive children
  • gifted children
  • children with sensory processing issues
  • children with mental health issues (anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder)

Many kids can benefit from talking about these issues with an objective adult who is not part of the family or the school.

My goal with these young people is to provide:

  • Affirmation
  • Clarity
  • Feedback
  • Strategies
  • Advice
  • Support
  • Follow up

Mentoring falls on the spectrum between teaching and counselling. All of my work has a mentoring dimension.

While my professional training is in education, I draw on insights and methods from a broad range of disciplines including:

  • play therapy
  • art therapy
  • biblio therapy
  • chakra therapy
  • multi-sensory learning
  • sensory processing (handout for parents)
  • reflexology
  • Jungian psychology
  • nature therapy
  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • mindfulness

My approach is holistic. I work with the whole child: mind, body, heart and soul.

Mentoring may include one or any combination of the following:

  • Academic tutoring
  • ADD coaching
  • Behavioural counselling
  • Parent-Child mediation
  • Mentoring parents
  • Mentoring teachers
  • Bullying intervention
  • Homeschooling support

Academic tutoring

I work with students of all ages on their grade-specific academic school subjects. This involves both homework help and development of basic skills, particularly in reading, writing, math, critical thinking and analytical thinking.

  • With primary and junior students, I emphasize phonics skills using the Orton-Gillingham method of multi-sensory education.
  • With junior and intermediate students, I emphasize reading fluency and reading comprehension as well as clear and effective writing.
  • With intermediate and senior students, I focus on analytical thinking and essay writing.
  • I provide help for students getting organized and staying on track with their school work.
  • I provide enrichment for students who are gifted or not sufficiently challenged by the curriculum.

ADD coaching

I work with students who have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD as well as students who have not been formally diagnosed, and yet display some of the symptoms of ADD:

  • distractibility
  • impulsivity
  • hyperactivity

My goal with these students is to give them strategies for improving their:

  • functioning in the school system on a day-to-day basis
  • academic performance
  • behaviour at home
  • relationships with parents
  • relationships with teachers
  • relationships with peers

I am particularly interested in helping these resilient kids keep their self-esteem intact.

I also consult with teachers providing strategies for dealing with ADD in the classroom.

Behavioural counselling

I work with students who are having behavioural issues that get in the way of their effective functioning at home or at school.

Children with:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • obsessive-compulsive behaviours
  • oppositional and defiant behaviour
  • high sensitivity
  • low self-esteem
  • lack of motivation
  • lack of confidence

 Parent-child mediation

I help parents and children who are experiencing conflict as they move through the developmental stages. Conflict often arises out of these periods of transition when the child is seeking greater autonomy and independence. I work with parents and children to find common ground, mutual understanding and co-operation.

Mentoring Parents

I work with parents to develop a better understanding of their child’s particular needs and to suggest strategies for dealing with the unique nature of their child.

Mentoring Teachers

I work with teachers to develop a better understanding of the needs of particular students in the classroom. I suggest teaching strategies as well as strategies for dealing with particular behaviours.

Bullying intervention

I work with students who are experiencing bullying at school or in other settings. I provide support and strategies for dealing with bullies.

Homeschooling support

I provide academic support for homeschooled kids. This can include planning an overall approach to homeschooling specifically tailored to the aspirations, needs and nature of the child or simple support or tutoring in specific subject areas.

Dr. Mel Levine on Mentoring:

“It can be hard to go it alone when you’re feeling inadequate. Many struggling students can benefit from an interaction with a professional who can offer them ongoing advice and advocacy. The choice of courses for next year, strategies for resolving a conflict with a teacher, and techniques for managing time and prioritizing activities are among the subjects than can be shared with a mentor. The alliance can provide a source of security, coaching in troubleshooting problems that come up, and plain old praise and encouragement. If possible this service should be long lasting, continuing over a period of years, so that a strong alliance can be forged. A mentor might be a physician, a mental health professional, an educator, counselor, or member of the clergy. Whoever assumes this role must communicate that he or she is on the side of the student, there to provide support and guidance, a collaborator and a safety net, someone who is going to be around when needed.”

from  A Mind At A Time