Adults such as teachers and mentors, who interact with youth on a regular basis have a profound impact on their successes. Beyond that, that nature of the relationship affects the quality of these successes.
Recent studies have shown the importance of in-person learning. “In a new study that was conducted in the Netherlands–a country that has one of the most equitable systems of school funding and the world’s highest rate of broadband access–researchers found that students made little or no progress while learning from home. Not surprisingly, the most profound learning losses were among more marginalized students. Other studies are finding learning losses equivalent to nearly a year of school.“
While most mentors support youth outside of the school environment, the mentoring relationship can have an impact on a student’s success in class. During the pandemic, many students were engaged in virtual learning from home. At this time, mentors provided an important social connection. Now that students are back to in-person learning, these strong relationships between the mentor and mentee have made it easier for mentees to resume relationships with teachers and peers.
“By acting as a sounding board and providing a model for interpretation of stressors, interpersonal challenges, and effective communication, mentors can help adolescents better understand, more clearly express, and more effectively regulate both their positive and their negative emotions.”
Social connections are important for students’ healthy development. Even more so are the relationships that foster trust and confidence building.