January is National Mentoring Month. Created in 2002, National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to assure positive outcomes for those looking to improve their quality of life.
The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy knows the importance of having a support system in the adult learning process. Each year, we offer multiple trainings and professional development opportunities to better equip mentors with the skills needed to work with adult learners.
Mentors provide new adult learners with the guidance they need when life interferes with learning, the opportunity to know someone is supporting their efforts, and the encouragement they need to complete each stop of the way. Mentors should be patient, have strong listening and communication skills, and should be able to commit to weekly meetings with their learner. Mentors themselves gain valuable experience and recognition they can add to their resume as well as the opportunity to help others and strengthen communities.
Mentors participate in a two week of self-paced online training course divided into five modulus; focusing on five primary purposes of mentoring:
Module 1: Introduction
Module 1 introduces participants to the online training platform. In this module the trainees get acquainted with each other through getting-to-know-you activities, and learn about the state of Adult Literacy in Philadelphia. At the end of the module participants discuss their personal definition of a Mentor, if they have had any Mentors in their lives, and learn about the different ways Mentors support Adult Learners.
Module 2: How To Mentor
Participants discuss successful interactions they have had with a Mentor and learn the skill learning-centered Mentoring.
Module 3: Communication
Participants are introduced to different communications techniques to use with an Adult Learner. They learn about communication blockers, changing perspectives about a situation, and how to problem solve.
Module 4: What You Can Do
Trainees learn about goal setting, career awareness, and study habits. They are given a diversity of resources for workforce development and tools for setting small and large goals with their Adult Learners.
Module 5: Now What?
In the final module, trainees learn about Mentoring requirements and benefits of volunteering with The Commission. A quick recap of the training is followed by an option for trainees to request a Mentor site.
Being a mentor is a flexible alternative to tutoring and provides a good foundation for those looking to work their way towards becoming an adult education tutor.
Mentors provide new adult learners with the guidance they need when life interferes with learning, the opportunity to know someone is supporting their efforts, and the encouragement they need to persist and complete each step of the way.
To become a Mentor you must meet the following requirements:
Please join us in helping adult learners across Philadelphia reach their educational and career goals. To become a mentor call (215) 686-5249 or email Emily Lindauer at the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy for more information.