10 Minute Mentoring: Building Empathy through Mentor-Mentee Relationship

Ten minutes a week can make a difference in a teen's life.

Photo of Anne Burley
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10-minute Mentoring: RVHS Mentoring Builds Empathy

A common thread of successful people is they had a positive relationship with an a caring adult during adolescence.


I am concerned with the “quiet” kids--those who don’t cause problems in class, don’t get written up, but nevertheless, miss school and fail classes. The ones who we often say fall between the cracks. 10-Minute Mentoring will identify students who need help; those who are failing classes and missing school. Students are interviewed based on PowerSchool Data. Students failing one or more classes with excessive absences are screened by counselors to identify some teachers that they’ve enjoyed in past classes. Teachers volunteer to be mentors as well as invited based on the student feedback. Counselors, administrators, and mentors working together as a team.


Fifty percent of students in the Blazers Belong (name open for suggestions) mentorship program will not accrue 3 additional unexcused absences and will not fail a class due to attendance for the 2017-2018 school year as measured by PowerSchool reports. from the start of the program until the end of the target date as measured by PowerSchool attendance reports.

Mentor Expectations:

  • Meet with student 2x weekly for about 5minutes at random times during the week
  • Focus on connecting with student (checking in, asking, “how are you? , “so glad you are here today!”)
  • Develop supportive relationship with a staff member ... The Champion!
  • Give student a raffle ticket for a chance to enter the weekly raffle. Student MUST be present at checking to get a ticket.
  • Weekly and Quarterly incentives with raffle from counselors
  • Meeting for 9 weeks = 1.5 hour time commitment from teachers

Before Start of School or Beginning of 1st Quarter

Presentation to faculty

  • Highlight the research regarding Empathy and Mentoring
  • Highlight the similar programs that have used this model with success
  • Give teachers the opportunity to volunteer

End of 1st Quarter select student mentees

  • Students who are at risk for dropping out
  • Students who are failing 1 or more classes
  • Students have over 5 unverified absences
  • Students have no major infractions

Mentor/Mentee Match Breakfast

  • Mentors and Mentees are matched and kickoff with breakfast
  • Mentors receive  mentee schedule, tickets, and responsibilities are reviewed
  • Mentors and Mentee have a get to know you activity (5-10 minutes)
  •     Let the Mentoring Begin!!!

Weekly for 9 weeks

  • Raffle for student who earned a ticket by being present at checkins
  • Draw name every Friday, have mentor deliver surprise, and take picture
  •     Email an update to all mentors about the student winner and their attendance progress each Friday afternoon

End of 9 weeks Celebrate the success BIG and SMALL


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Team (5)

Anne's profile
Elizabeth's profile
Elizabeth Urbanski

Role added on team:

"Elizabeth, Thank you for the encouragement. I've been swamped with scheduling and of course the drop in visits. I'd like to team up! Here is my shared Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qU-Qf_rFDUdOb5120m4mbZv7ArEEAqGsyNC2rn6MJ98/edit Anne"

Geneva's profile
Lane's profile
Lane Laney

Role added on team:

"Lane, RVHS will be richer for your infusing empathy into the arts which is a perfect medium for expression. I could see mentees identified in the mentor program completing a sculpture as a culminating project."

Denise's profile
Denise Webster

Role added on team:

"I truly enjoyed sharing ideas today!"

Inspired by (1)



Join the conversation:

Photo of Geneva Hinchliffe

Anne, what a lovely idea! I'm wondering what would happen if the mentor program included an older student as an additional mentor. Maybe one day the young "mentee" will be come the mentor?

Photo of Anne Burley


That is a fabulous twist to add to the plan! Thank you!

Photo of Geneva Hinchliffe

Anne, I'm excited to team up. My idea is evolving to encompass a lot of other things. Check it out and let me know what you think. Here's a google doc as well:
Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UHK0U3DbqGQE1H97uAokwtKZZMnBzrfNvam0b0_gCgw/edit?usp=sharing

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