RGS Guildford courtyard with students

Reflection: Mentoring

Do or do not.  There is no try.”  A quote from Yoda, a character in the 1980’s Star Wars film, Empire Strikes Back.  Where Yoda shows great wisdom to teach Luke to focus on the present and demonstrates, as a great mentor does, how to give support and how to offer challenges that permit one to learn and grow so that the mentee can gain confidence and, eventually, independence.

As mentioned in the reading that began the assembly, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  This is the case in mentoring where one student helps another to learn and develop emotionally, socially, or academically.  The mentoring system provides many benefits for both involved.  For the mentee there can be academic improvements achieved through a different way of learning, building confidence in the classroom, and developing test scores.  However, academic mentoring is not the only part that brings benefits as pastoral mentoring helps to improve day to day skills that are just as important.  As someone who passed through the mentoring system twice myself during my time in the lower years of the school, I can honestly say that it improved my learning as well as my confidence in myself allowing for me to catch up and better myself when heading towards exams.  Without this process the result of those exams would have been quite different.

Now in my position as a Senior Mentor I can say that it is just as rewarding to help somebody else improve themselves as it is to receive help.  As you can develop life skills whilst positively improving the lives of individuals around you.  Mentoring should not be something that people are afraid of, or embarrassed about which I can truthfully say that I was when I began the process, but rather something that people can see the positives in and are motivated to do and seek out in order to enhance themselves and their learning which I would urge you to do if you feel as though it is needed.

Finally, I would like to leave you with a quote from one of the greatest film makers of all time Steven Spielberg, “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”

Archie Secrett
Senior Prefect