“When you work to change the life of another, it inevitably changes you”
Chloe, a Volunteer Mentor with City Year London in 2020-21, shares how her mentoring relationship with one pupil has made a difference to her.
“One of my focus list pupils has Down’s Syndrome. He struggled to regulate his emotions, could be disruptive in class and, if he was in a bad mood, would storm out of lessons and exams. Slowly I worked on building a positive relationship and earning his trust. I modelled positive behaviour and helped him open up and identify his feelings.
“During the winter lockdown, Mike (not his real name) still came to school because of his vulnerability. I was able to get to know him even better. When I noticed he was beginning to feel overwhelmed, I took him out of lessons to talk about what was bothering him. Eventually, he would ask me to take a break with him; having this permission helped Mike to take more control of his emotions. He stopped walking out of class and was less disruptive. He was able to focus more. He also became more social with his classmates and would share with them and perform tasks for the teacher, like handing out books. There was a knock-on effect. He was able to sit through his exams and improve his grades. I like to think I helped bring about this transformation in my own small way.
“When you work to change the life of another, it inevitably changes you. I found myself becoming more confident and aware of my abilities. I learnt that through focus and dedication, role modeling and building strong, trusting relationships, I could help to bring about change. I could make a difference.
“This experience has shown me that I want to focus on educational psychology. I want to work with pupils that need extra help and someone to listen. I want to work on social and emotional development. I want to keep learning and I want to keep making a difference. Thank you City Year and Mike for being part of my journey.”
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