Here are ways to ensure the mentoring relationship is positive and productive. Provide support: Assist mentors in understanding your relevant school policies, providing ongoing support and clarification as needed. Provide support and communication structures for mentors. Hold regular meetings where mentors can discuss their experiences, voice concerns and get feedback from school staff and other mentors. Check in regularly with mentors, students and parents. Is the mentorship team making headway on activities and tasks with the students? What are the hurdles? Do they need support, information or tools? Actively support student engagement. Follow up with students with poor program attendance, reinforce the benefits and encourage participation. If individual mentor-student pairings are part of your program, are these working well? What are the challenges? Recognize mentors and students for their achievements and participation in the program. Monitor and review the mentorship: Contact the mentorship team lead regularly to check on progress of group activities, and on one-on-one activities where these are part of the program. If one-on-one mentorships are part of your program and a mentor-student match does not appear to be working out after the first few meetings, the teacher lead and the mentorship team lead should discuss assigning the student to a different mentor. Intervene quickly to address concerns by mentors or students. Coach each separately first and then meet with them together to discuss and resolve the problem. Conduct program evaluations frequently. Demonstrating program effectiveness is essential for obtaining program support. Set up contacts and meetings: Set up a schedule for where, when and how often mentors and students will meet. Regular contact can help students and mentors develop the trust and friendship necessary for successful mentoring relationships. Support parents: Support your students’ parents by providing them with all the information they will need about the mentorship. provide them the objectives of the mentorship program: overall goals why their child was identified as a candidate how mentors are chosen the roles and responsibilities of their child, themselves and the mentors check in regularly to ensure they are aware of their child’s progress answer and address any questions or concerns they may have See CPA Martin mentorship information for parents. External resources Canada West Foundation – Encouraging Success: Ensuring Aboriginal Youth Stay in School Dusseldorp Skills Foundation – Young people and mentoring: Time for a national strategy Mentoring Canada – The Building Blocks of Quality Mentoring Programs Mentor.org – Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring Questions? Please email us.