The Heights | Mentoring for Parents

Mentoring for Parents

A Partnership with Parents

At The Heights, we believe that parents are the primary educators of their children.
The education of a person is not simply or exclusively the teaching of a series of
facts and numbers—that’s only a limited part of what an education entails. The
education of a person in its deepest sense is how he knows himself and the world
around him; how he grows in virtue; and how he, ultimately, reaches his full
potential. Jacques Maritain also said that the aim of education, “is to guide man in
the evolving dynamism through which he shapes himself as a human person—
armed with knowledge, strength of judgment, and moral virtues—while at the
same time conveying to him the spiritual heritage of the nation and the
civilization in which he is involved” (Education at the Crossroads, p. 10). In the
full sense of the word education, it is obvious that the role of parents is crucial,
and the role of the mentor, although important, only secondary.

The mentor’s secondary role complements the parents’ own because the mentor
gets to know the boys in a different context: the school environment. There the
mentor sees his mentee interact with his peers and with his teachers. He will see
the student in class and on the playing fields. The mentor also will have regular
conversations with the mentee. These conversations give the mentor a great
opportunity to know his mentee well. “What are his talents? What are his
shortcomings? What motivates him and discourages him? How does he relate
with his parents and siblings?”

It is the partnership between the mentor and the parents that makes mentorship
successful. The mentee should be able to recognize that the message he hears at
home is similar to the one he hears from his mentor. The parents and the mentor
work in a partnership for the good.

It is important, however, for the mentor to be aware of any disciplinary
issue his mentee may have, for it may be a great occasion for giving some
helpful advice.

Besides disciplinary issues, mentors can rely on administrators, especially
the Heads of Schools, with issues having to do with course scheduling and
course requirements. This is particularly true for upper classmen as they
begin to have more options, or they want to add or drop a class. The mentor
may help his mentee and the School Head determine what course selection
would be best for him (of course, parents have the crucial and final voice).

The purpose of the mentor/parent conference is to unite the efforts of the parents
and the School in forming the mentee. The conference seeks to put parents and
mentor “on the same page” regarding the academic and personal development of
the mentee. It’s a friendly conversation in which parents and mentor, who
mutually want what’s best for the student, to find ways to help him reach his