Do you want to help young people overcome social barriers to fulfilling their potential in education? Learning Mentors do just that, and I have put together a practical, step by step guide on how to become one.
What is a Learning Mentor?
Learning Mentors support pupils with barriers to accessing their education. These ‘barriers' can often be the result of low self-esteem caused by a stressful situation the student has recently experienced. A Learning Mentor's job is to identify the cause of the ‘barrier’ and encourage the pupil to use strategies that help reduce its impact. Approaches to building positive, consistent relationships with their students are a fundamental part of a Learning Mentor’s inventory. Trust is a key factor in persuading a young person to look at a problem from a different, potentially less harmful point of view.
All in all, Learning Mentors provide a vital function in ensuring that young people receive an emotional education in times of need, alongside their academic pursuits in the classroom
So where should you start if you are interested in becoming a Learning Mentor?
Step 1: DBS and Eligibility Check
Qualifications and Experience go hand in hand when applying for a role, you can find out whether you have the required qualifications by visiting the National Careers Service website. If you find yourself short on experience but high inintent to do the job, most schools are willing to employ keen volunteers who wish to put some more relevant experience on their CV, providing they have completed an Enhanced DBS check.
Step 2: Make sure your CV does you Justice
Your CV is your most powerful tool for creating the right first impression. Making sure it impressively details your experience and expertise can be the difference between securing a job and receiving “constructive feedback for your next application”. Often, asking for help from a professional CV writer can be a useful timesaving tool.
Step 3: Do the groundwork
Picking up the phone and speaking to the person responsible for a school’s recruitment processes, is often the best way to inform education employers that you are interested in any potential roles. It may be time-consuming, but calling all the local schools and gaining contact details of the right person is the most tried and tested method.
Bonus step: Save time and contact an expert to do all the above for you!
Alternatively, you can contact one organisation with many contacts in the education sector to do all the above for you. Many companies offer some of the services mentioned above, but only a select few that can offer all of them. Gain Focus develop, implement and coordinate projects for young people in Greater Manchester. We also employ Learning Mentors and offer free CV workshops for our staff members, alongside our monthly, continued professional development seminars. Follow this link to take a look at how we might be able to help you kick-start your career as a Learning Mentor.