Mentoring Tips (Academic) – Sophomore Year

Now that you have known one another for a year, it is time to focus more strongly on academic excellence, work habits and other pursuits they are interested in (sports, the arts…). It is important to instill the idea that every grade counts towards the end goal of college. Hold your mentee accountable to academic and personal goals.

Topics for discussion

  • Encourage successful work habits and time management
  • Begin conversations about college, i.e. the importance, benefits, options, etc.
  • Register for PSAT when offered by the school
  • Encourage participation in a new extra-curricular activity or exploring an interest in more depth, which is important for college applications
  • Summer employment or activities
    • Resources to find opportunities
    • Interview Skills
    • How to fill out an application and interview for a job
    • Keep in touch over the summer to see how things are going.
  • When report cards are sent out
    • Praise any strong performance—grades, attendance, etc.
    • Encourage seeking extra help where grades are weak

Getting together:

  • S/PA activities – Please communicate with your student in advance so that you know whether to see one another at the events.
  • “Get to know you” breakfast or lunch is held early in the fall. You will have a chance to sit and talk with your student.
  • Community service and enrichment events – we usually have one in fall and one in the spring. All S/PA students are expected to attend and it is a great opportunity to spend time doing something fulfilling together.  Past activities have included the FoodBank of New Jersey, All Stars Program of New Jersey,
  • January – All students, mentors, and families are welcome to attend the S/PA Winter Holiday party.
  • Extracurricular activities—If your student welcomes you, attend sport events, plays, and special events.

Suggested Activities

  • Outline a typical day for both of you
  • Make a list of potential extra-curricular activities and choose one to pursue
  • Fill out a sample job application
  • Make a list of possible summer jobs