3 Tips for Staying Connected (Physically and Mentally) as a Mentor during COVID-19July 30, 2020
By Yolanda Stennett,
Program Director, Daugthers With A Purpose
1. GET COMFORTABLE WITH TECHNOLOGY! The world as we know it changed in an instant and now more than ever as mentors, we need to be prepared to continue mentoring even if that means that we mentor from afar. The use of online conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Uber Conference and Skype are quickly becoming the norm, and as a mentor we need to become experts in these platforms. Think about it, if you were a young scholar wouldn’t it be comforting to know that technology won’t stand in the way of the time you spend with your mentor? Our mentees are counting on us and the interactions we have with them to be as “normal” as possible. We need to be able to provide that stability in this new virtual world especially since so much in their lives from school, sports, etc. have changed.
2. STAY CONSISTENT! Our mentees need consistency in their lives now more than ever. Work towards establishing a schedule for when you will virtually meet with your mentee and do everything you can to stick to that schedule. Inconsistency is a breeding ground for anxiety and as mentors, the last thing we want to do is to be another source of anxiety to our young people. Additionally, consistency helps to forge a long lasting relationship built on trust and in order for mentors to be affective, our mentees need to be able to trust us.
3. STEP OUTSIDE THE BOX! Young adults are spending more time on their devices since the pandemic hit and therefore their use of social media has increased. Are you following your mentees on Snapchat, Instagram, Tik Tok and Facebook? If not, you should! As mentors, we need to be there to help our mentees make smart choices especially when it comes to their digital footprint but if you’re not following them, how would you know if they’re making smart choices? Also, use some of the online challenges as a way to bond with your mentee. If making a fool of myself attempting a Tik Tok dance helps my mentee to open up and trust me, then bring on all the crazy dances. Remember, in order to teach them you first have to reach them.