How to Be a Good Mentor

All you have to do is set the correct examples. This way, the person who wants you to be their mentor, will look up to you as a great person and you'll definitely feel good inside. Keep reading for detailed instructions.


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    Pick a good place to mentor them in. You want to keep their attention on you, without them getting bored or their attention wandering. A library would be the traditional choice, and a good one too - it will be quieter than other places, there may be room to spread out books or papers, and if you need a book you're in the right place!
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    Always be patient and polite, even if they are slow learners. Be calm. If they're not getting something, just try to explain it in different ways until they do - or just come back to it later.
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    Just think to yourself that they will get it one day. And it will have been with your mentoring. If and when they do succeed, it'll be something for both of you to be proud of.
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    Make sure you stay optimistic, never act like they are failing or will never comprehend what you are teaching them. If they don't do so well, keep smiling and offer to help them with what they get wrong. If they do do well, feel proud of what they have accomplished with your help and congratulate them.
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    If the mentoring is online, find some links for them. This will make your job easier and guide them along the subject. A wealth of information can be found on the internet, in many different forms - utilize them! Try different sites, pictures, diagrams, videos, etc.
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    Never curse at the learner, never tell them they are worthless or dim-witted. You are there to teach them, if you lash out like that, it can really hurt them badly. Be kind and supportive, don't bring them down.
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    The main focus is to teach them as best as you can, and stay positive the whole time. If there's something you're both finding difficult, don't be afraid to ask someone else for help, i.e. a teacher if you're in school, an expert in the subject, someone more senior than you at your workplace, etc.
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    Try giving them a feedback sandwich. Start by complimenting them, identifying some of their strongest points. Then nicely lay out some areas they need to work on. Be direct, but not unkind. Finish it off with some further encouragement, projecting a positive outcome of future efforts.
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    If they ask you something you don't know - don't panic. Ask them something like "So how would you do it?". Listen to their response and find a way to build on it. It could just be that you forgot, or did it in a different way.
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    If they feel uncomprehending, or like they will never get it, encourage them a little. Lay on the praise. Make sure they know that you believe in them.


  • Stay positive, the negative can't lead the negative.
  • Show them that you are just as fun as they want you to be.
  • Be a good example for them.
  • Stay optimistic and always in a good mood. At least try.
  • Teach them some things you know that won't be so hard for them to learn.
  • Give them advice about how life will be for them.
  • Make sure they know that, although you are friendly, if you need to lay down the rules, you will.
  • Be exciting. Try to keep the mentoring sessions new and interesting.


  • Be careful not to be too fun though. You're there to help them learn, and they could end up taking advantage of you.
  • Never yell or curse at the student.
  • If they aren't nice when you meet them, then just do your best, and watch out. they can get a little crazy.

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Categories: Teacher Resources