Women in Technology Project
Telementoring Project

Mentor Training

Table of Contents
What is a mentor?
Benefits to Mentors
Expectations of Mentor
Legal Issues
Initiating and Maintaining Relationship
What to Talk About
Terminating the Relationship
Tips for Mentors
Information about Adolescents
Mentor Agreement to Participate in Telementoring Program

What is a mentor?

A mentor provides consistent support, guidance, motivation, attention, and concrete help, without being a tutor. She helps the protégé gain skills and confidence to be responsible for her future. This role is always voluntary with clear roles and expectations.

Benefits to the Mentors

Expectations of Mentor

Legal Issues

With any mentoring program, especially ones with kids involved, there are liability issues to be concerned about. Therefore, we will require all mentors to:

Initiating and Maintaining Relationship

What to Talk About

What you do
Job description
Major tasks
Equipment or tools you use
Description of your typical day
What your work is like
Working hours
Salary range for this type of occupation
Working environment (noise, hazards, lighting, indoor/outdoor travel, special clothing, etc.)
History of this kind of work
What you produce (goods, services, etc.)
Interdependence of your job and other jobs/products/industries
Where else in the community your kind of work is done
Government regulations affecting your work
The Future in Your Field
Degree of opportunity for women and men
Opportunities for advancement
Personal qualities needed
Employment projections; effects of technology and new knowledge on your work
Effects of the country's economic condition on your job
Hints you would give someone applying for your job
Other jobs you could do with the same skills
Opportunities for further education
Job Entry
How you got started in this field
Other jobs you've held
Skills that you already had that you use now; how you acquired them
Your recommendations to others for acquiring these same skills
Your job as a lifetime career or a stepping stone to something better
Related jobs for which you are now prepared
How Your Job Feels
What you like and dislike about the job
What you would change if you could
Avenues available to you for making suggestions on the job
What you would rather do if you are not satisfied
Interpersonal skills you find most important and why
Underlying attitudes and values important to your job
Why you chose this type of work
How it Affects Your Personal Life
Family time
Leisure time
Job related skills you use elsewhere
Expanding interests
General health
Personal Life
What do you think is your greatest accomplishment / personal achievement to date? Why?
What do you most value in life?
Who do you most admire? Why?
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Students Often Ask
What is an average work day like for you?
What did you hate doing that you had to do in order to get where you are?
Name the two most important qualities or skills that a person must have to be successful in your field.
Which aspects of your job do you like the least?
Have you used what you learned in high school on the job?
What education is required for someone in your position?
Can you describe some related jobs in your field?
Did you always know what you wanted to be?

Terminating the Relationship

How the formal mentoring relationship is terminated shapes how both you and the student view and remembers the experience. Don't just suddenly drop out of sight. Adolescents may feel rejected at the loss of a formal mentor. Whether the relationship is being terminated because the end of the program has come or the relationship is not working out, the following suggestions may make the termination more pleasant for both of you:


adapted from EDC Center for Children and Technology
Copyright 1995 EDC/CCT All right reserved
A EDC/CCT project funded by NSF HRD #9450042

It's easy enough to use electronic mail, but there is an art to communicating effectively on-line. Here are some simple guidelines and/or suggestions for telecommunicating:

Tips for Mentors

(partly adapted from Vermont Chamber of Commerce Business Education Partnerships manual)

Information about adolescents

(partly adapted from Vermont Chamber of Commerce Business Education Partnerships manual)
When reminiscing about adolescence, one often hears the phrase, "I'd never want to go through THAT again!" It is important to remember why we think that -- what problems led you to never want to go through adolescence again? And, in light of current local and global issues, how would these add to your sense of self at ages 11 - 14?

Young adolescents are defining who they are. Their search for identity is influenced by changing relationships with peers and adults and by internal emotional changes, some of them caused by puberty. The ungainly appearance typical of puberty aggravates the emotional stress of young adolescents, who are already self-conscious. Mood and behavior swings may occur and may be accentuated by a diminished self-esteem -- a negative view young adolescents have of themselves that they think others share.

The contradictions, contrasts, and conflicts that adolescents face are quite normal. The many changes they are experiencing, along with the pressures of today's society, place some adolescents under a great deal of stress. There is no "typical" young adolescent; every child remains an individual with strengths, weaknesses, and irritating and attractive qualities.

However, there are some general characteristics that pertain to this age group:

General Characteristics

Physical Characteristics Social Characteristics Intellectual Characteristics Emotional Characteristics Mental Characteristics While a telementoring program certainly is not an intervention or counseling program, it can help young people to make decisions or seek professional help regarding some serious issues that girls these age face everyday. The following list discusses the degrees and kinds of help that mentors can provide for some very difficult issues, should they come up in conversation or you suspect something wrong:

Mentor Agreement to Participate in the Women in Technology Telementoring Program

As a volunteer in the Women in Technology Telementoring Program,
I, ____________________________ agree to:
(printed name of mentor)
Signature of Mentor


Please send this signed document to:
Women in Technology Project,Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center VT 05061

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