Finding ways to schedule and keep track of your next visit can sometimes be tricky, especially if you both have busy schedules, or if either of you has unreliable access to a telephone in your home. Here are some tips for setting up reliable ways to schedule visits:
Pick a regular day to meet. Your mentoring program may have guidelines about when and where you meet. If your schedules allow for it, try selecting one day you will do something together each week. If you can also set the meetings at a predictable time, so much the better. (For example, you will pick up your mentee every Wednesday at 5:00 PM.)
Talk between visits. Decide which of you will be in charge of calling the other person a few days before your next visit to check in about how things are going and remind each other of your next visit.
Keep a calendar. If there is a family calendar in the mentee’s house, use it to write down your next visits. If there is not a family calendar in the house, mentors and mentees can look for a calendar that the parent(s) or caregiver(s) might like. Your mentoring program staff may even have calendars or supplies you can use to make a calendar together.
Practice time management skills. If you have day planners, pencil in your next few visits. Obviously, mentees need to check with their families to make sure the time will work. Make scheduling fun; draw pictures and use fun colors to “code” different kinds of activities. If one of you do not have much practice with maintaining a calendar or planner, work together to identify regular activities, family obligations and other ways to occupy your time and plug those things into a day planner.
Leave a note on the fridge. Mentee pick out a refrigerator magnet that you like. At the end of each visit, decide with your mentor and your family when the next visit will be. Write the date and time on a piece of paper, and put it on your home’s refrigerator with the special magnet.
Reprinted with permission from Search Institute®. From Mentoring for Meaningful Results: Asset-Building Tips, Tools, and Activities for Youth and Adults. Copyright © 2008 Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN; 800-888-7828; www.search-institute.org. All rights reserved.