Dear Newsletter Subscribers,
First and foremost, at Academic Window, we want to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year! We hope you continue taking strides toward achieving your goals and see forward progress in 2023 and beyond.
We are excited to release this first Newsletter of 2023 and to announce a couple of key updates for the new year. First of all, based on your expressed interests and requests, we are proud to say we will begin publishing our newsletters biweekly on the 1st and 15th day of each month.
Secondly, our Academic Window website is now completely updated. Through our website, we want to keep reaching out to more and more schools all over the world and to help provide improved counseling services on a global scale.
What you will find in this newsletter:
You will find information about mentoring and its importance from a high school teacher’s perspective. He gives mentor assistant training at the school and also follow-up with students’ mentoring procedures.
Second, you will discover the importance of the elementary level of education and how mentor assistants can help elementary-level students. This topic will be explored even further in our next newsletter too.
Mentoring from Mr. Fisher's Perspective:
In being asked to serve as a mentor in this program, it is paramount that the teacher initially builds a strong rapport with students. While this foundation is necessary, this mentorship program pushes that connection further in order for students to not just have respect and trust for their teacher, but by extension, to have respect for and trust in themselves. I agreed to be a Mentor Assistant Trainer because I wanted to build on the positive interactions I have with students on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. I want to use the tools at my disposal to allow students to become autonomous, successful, and confident people, fully capable of critical thinking and sorting through this ever-changing complex world. My expectation for this program was that it would further facilitate this goal.
This program is crucial for students in that it allows them to start applying not only the theories we discuss, but to also apply ideas from our meetings to their everyday lives. These take the form of solutions through us discussing habit-formation, passion projects, self-discipline, emotional regulation, autonomy, goal-setting, and selflessness, among other topics. I see this program as giving students more information, guiding them through this information, and then helping them to overlay these ideas on their own in their daily lives in order to facilitate optimal positive outcomes. These are solutions because each student is able to utilize this information to lead a more productive and healthy life, but also by extension, lead them to assist mentees as well. Because it is more than a strictly academically motivated program, which only takes into account a sliver of who a person is, it gives a more complete picture for the student in terms of who they are overall. In them seeing who they are and what they can become, this is motivating to then share this treasure with others, their mentees, to guide them not just toward achieving better grades, but to discovering a more enjoyable life of autonomy and deeper connections with others.
I support these students every other week by providing a space for facilitated discussion around specific psychological and educational theories and by checking in with them in order to see how they are doing and how else I can support them in school or with their general well-being. Most of this support comes through discussion, layered questioning, and pieces of advice interspersed carefully in these discussions so that it feels less didactic and more organic. These students now have a trusted teacher at the school whom they can turn to in times of need or in times of celebration, and the beauty of the program is that they are being taught how to be that person of strength for someone else in their time of need or celebration. Upon completion of this program, I am confident that these students will not simply have more tools in their tool belt, but will be able to utilize these tools effectively for themselves, and for others. This program is about spreading positivity, not in an abstract sense; in a transformationally practical sense that they can understand, apply, and achieve in their lives from now and into their burgeoning future.
Mentoring in Elementary Schools
Before delving into the elementary-level mentoring process, we should understand the importance and functions of elementary-level education.
Among many other reasons, the two reasons detailed below make elementary-level mentoring more important and critical than ever.
First, primary schools are the place where students start to socialize more. For kids, schools are the first safe everyday places to connect with others. At this level, different opportunities and options are provided for students both to discover their strengths and to improve upon them.
Second, primary schools are places to compensate for or supplement areas of need: a) what parents may not support enough at home, including the child’s basic psychological needs, b) parents’ sincere but unconscious misbehaviors, meaning parents behaving unconsciously as authoritative, prohibitive, preventive, or overprotective. The parents’ unrealized and unintentional misbehavior, although sincere and with the best intentions for their children, causes some psychological problems to develop during childhood. The negative consequences children see from this can continue throughout the rest of their lives, too, if they cannot be therapied during childhood. So, mentoring with high school Mentor Assistants can be helpful not only in discovering children’s strengths, but also in being a part of the therapy process. According to scientific research, primary schools are the most effective place to eliminate all negativities quickly and compensate for insufficient feeding of basic psychological needs.
Second, childhood is essentially the most important period for building the fundamentals and foundational thinking and behavior to be able to succeed and be happy in the future. So, every minute of childhood–from playing educational games to building strong relationships with others–should be thought of as an investment in the child’s future. All these efforts can be achieved through after-school activities with the support of Mentor Assistants trained and supervised by teachers. *Please also note that Mentor Assistants must be trained and supervised by Role Model Teachers, which leads to multidimensional success and the butterfly effect.
In the upcoming Newsletter, we will explain the benefits and process of mentoring at the elementary-level education in greater detail and with specific examples.