As well all know, in the average person, motivation decreases as difficulty level increases. Struggling students tend to work slower and achieve less unless they have a great support system. Providing these students with consistent words of encouragement, motivational phrases, and positive remarks on things they are achieving (no matter how small) can lead to a mindset that drives success. These acts of encouragement should be spoken daily to achieve maximum benefits to the struggling student. Changing a mindset can be difficult, especially if it is formed over many years of academic, social, or emotional struggles and experiences.
The Mentoring Program is an excellent way to develop relationships that allow for this type of continous encouragement to occur. At SunEd High Schools, students receive a mentor on day one of their high school experience. That mentor initially meets with the student to begin to form a relationship of trust and guidance. The mentor continues to be a source of guidance and trust that allows the student to feel supported especially when he or she is struggling academically. Monthly formal meetings also give the mentor the ability to thoroughly review the progress of the mentee and give that student strategies to assist them in achieving success.
One thing rings clear when discussing student motivation. Everything we say and do as educators, mentors, and administrators makes an impact on the students. They watch! They listen! They react! That is why passion for what you do must be living and breathing each day as you interact with the students. When interacting with students, no matter what role you serve, the words you speak and the actions you take must be in the best interest of the student. Our personal frustations, struggles, and difficulties must be kept personal and not leak into the important work done during the time you spend with the students. That time is precious and there is not enough of it in correlation to the work needed to be done to help them be successful.
SunEd High provides so many opportunities for students to make a positive change in there academic path. Teachers, mentors, and administrators alike share “ONE VOICE” of encouragement, guidance, and support for all of the students who become part of the SunEd family.