When we were in schools, we used to have this concept of prefects and monitors. Their role was to keep the class quiet and maintain discipline in the class, check whether the rest of the students are following the rules or not and else. In many ways, they were highly appreciated by the teachers but secretly hated by the students. In no way were these monitors friendly or played the role of mentors either for their peers or by the young students. But that is what Hugh Guill, a texas based mentor and educator has pointed out. He mentions a role that which is popularly called as peer mentor and points out that laying this role by students can actually be very helpful in fostering good relationship with the peers and the juniors.
Hugh Guill has been a successful teaches in his life and he is the proud Corps Member Advisor for Teach For America in 2008. A pass out from Kenyon College, Hugh Guill has always stood up for the causes of education and economic empowerment. He began his teaching career as a Middle School Science Teacher at the Denver Public Schools. His dedication and hard work paved the way for him to head the office of a Principal and remaining in office till 2014. Hugh Guill currently works as an Analyst at Select Energy Services.
As a mentor, Hugh Guill understands the many benefits of the role of a peer mentor. He highlights the the role in a clear light so that even parents can understand the importance of peers in the lives of their children. There comes a age in everyone’s life when the peer pressure is too much and many children are highly influenced by the wants and thoughts of the peer group. There are also instances of both positive and negative impact on children all owing to the peer group they belong to. That is why Hugh Guill points out how crucial it is to follow a peer mentor who can help the juniors and their peers in need.
In a typical peer mentoring relationship, Hugh Guill points out, a student is responsible for supporting and guiding a younger student through a shared area of work or interest. Homework, school projects, advices on social issues like bullying and peer pressure. Peer mentors as pointed by Hugh Guill are role models to mentees. Mentees benefit in a big way when they decide to follow their peer mentor. For example, mentees can have improved communication skills, increased confidence and fruitful advice and encouragement. But this relationship is not beneficial only for the mentee. Mentors too have something to gain out of a peer mentor relationship.
- For example, Hugh points out that peer mentoring can help mentors widen their social circle of friends and have more opportunities to create contacts for networking.
- Mentors often derive happiness and satisfaction as they see their peers achieve success in their work and goals with their constant support and encouragement.
- The role of a mentor in a peer mentoring relationship also helps to imbibe leadership qualities in the mentor. It is a great way to prepare themselves for situations that require action planning, organizing, problem solving and motivational skills.
- Being empathetic towards others and improved self-esteem and becoming compassionate, these are some of the qualities that a peer mentor is seen to develop. Improved communication and conflict resolution skills are also the benefits of this relationship.
Hugh Guill rightfully weighs the importance of having a peer mentor in life. Peer mentors are like the helping hand that helps mentees when they are in some kind of problem but are coy to share it with their parents. A peer mentor can actually turn the picture towards a brighter light.