The Silver Fox members have been mentoring students at the Hauck Alternative High School in Conroe, Texas for the past three years. During these sessions, the members had some serious doubts about the effectiveness of mentoring the students.
In order to obtain some feedback, the members met with Jo Ann Beken who is the Principal of Hauck High School. Jo Ann pointed out that there is no direct way of knowing whether the mentoring is effective and that even the teachers who have daily interaction with the students do not have feedback on their impact. She also pointed out that there is a strong need for mentoring and that the students have a choice to either continue or decline the mentoring. A number of students have asked for the mentoring on their own initiative.
The key to mentoring is to recognize that most of these students have no incentive to try something that’s difficult (like algebra, getting a job, doing volunteer work, etc). As mentors, we need to tell the students that we believe in them and encourage them to try difficult tasks.
As a result of this meeting, the Silver Fox members decided to continue the mentoring process at Hauck High School.