What is enrichment mentoring? Cultivating Unique Strengths
Almost everyone has had a mentor who saw talents within him or her that he or she had not yet even recognized, someone who helped nurture those talents into skills and projects that led to a better shot at the next step (college or a career). It's a tall order, but those are the mentors we aspire to be for our students. Students with learning disabilities often possess unique and valuable ways of seeing the world (perspectives that might make them into artists, inventors or entrepreneurs). It's our job to make sure these students have the methods they need to materialize their strengths.
How do I do it? Through Investigation
The first phase in enrichment mentoring is discovery, the second phase is consolidation and third phase is result. Students who are at different phases of the process need different kinds of help. Some students know what they’re about; other students need help figuring that out. Some students' passions fall into the easily defined academic categories, e.g. history; other students have different aptitudes that might turn into extracurriculars (like building your own solar powered robot). Through structuring projects and activities, I help my students find the best ways to connect their aptitudes back into the academic environment.
Why is enrichment so important? To Maintain Motivation & Prepare for Admissions
Often, for students at the edge of the bell curve, too much energy is focused on what is not working. To a certain extent, that's natural: parents and teachers are worried and want the student to reach his or her full potential. However, if the focus isn't balanced equally on strengths and weaknesses, the student can become demotivated. Why try if you're only criticized for your mistakes? Refocusing on the student's strengths, and finding activities where he or she can flourish, has the effect not only of motivating the student to tackle his or her weaknesses, but also finding an area of concern that often becomes a significant aspect of his or her college application.