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Mentoring & Tutoring Tips by Maria Murphy

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Thursday, September 2, 2010
September Mentoring Tip of the Month - 5 Ways to Motivate your Mentor Volunteers
By @ 1:04 PM :: 4002 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Mentoring & Tutoring Tips by Maria Murphy


We encourage you to share this material with your mentoring community by connecting to this link, or by printing and posting it in your facility.  Please do not alter this post.  Thank you and thanks for all you do in the mentoring community!



 5 Ways to Motivate your Mentor Volunteers


Volunteering is a job many of us love. The feeling of helping others can build our sense of meaning about our lives and the contribution or stamp we want to leave on this planet.  But keeping mentors coming, keeping them motivated and free from burnout can be a challenge. Here are some simple strategies to keep your volunteers motivated and commited to your organization. 

1. Know them.  Take the extra time to get to know your volunteers.  Know their names, even something about their personal or professional lives.  Sometimes we can forget the incredible experience and talents that rest behind the volunteers' eyes.

2.  Make them work.  No volunteer wants to stand around wondering why they are wasting their time.  They want to work, want to contribute.  Make sure that resource is not wasted.

3. Appreciate them.  Say thank you and then say thank you again.  Volunteers don't get paid in cash.  They get paid in feeling that what they did mattered and that they matter.  Make sure they know what they are doing has value and that you and the organization appreciate them.

4. Match them up.  Don't make the extrovert sort the closet or the introvert speak to a group of 50.  Match skills and comfort levels with tasks.

5. Use a team effort.  This job of keeping volunteers coming needs to be a community effort.  Paid employees, management,  and other leadership, need to work together to create a culture that systematically and consistently welcomes, utilizes and appreciates the volunteer.

Maria Murphy writes for Tutor Mentor Connection with the Monthly Mentoring Tip. To get on the mailing list, go to



To learn more or get on Maria’s mentoring mailing list, click here.

Simply Put Together.


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Tuesday, August 10, 2010
August Mentoring Tip - 7 Ways to Build a Child’s Self Esteem
By @ 8:21 AM :: 3763 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Mentoring & Tutoring Tips by Maria Murphy


We encourage you to share this material with your mentoring community by connecting to this link, or by printing and posting it in your facility.  Please do not alter this post.  Thank you and thanks for all you do in the mentoring community!



7 Ways to Build a Child’s Self Esteem

1.  Smile big.  Sound silly?  Every time you see your child, give them a great big greeting.  Not spooky and exaggerated, just genuine and excited.  This makes children feel important.

2.  Catch them being good.  Look for a chance to catch them being kind, thoughtful, smart, etc. and let them know.

3.  Make a goal with them and help them reach it.  Teach children how to make a goal and attain it.  This builds confidence and the benefits will last a very long time.

4.  Edit yourself.  Make sure you think before you speak.  Negative words can stay with children well into adulthood.

5.  Love yourself.  The best way to help children develop self esteem is to have it yourself.  Watch your own feelings about yourself.  Self-deprecating remarks model for kids too.

6.  Both ears.  Really listen.  When we only listen with “one ear,” we are dismissive to children.  STOP and listen.

7.  Body moves.  Did you know that over 50% of our communication is non-verbal?  When you say “great work” regarding the “B” on a test, but your face is all pinched up, kids know what you are really saying.  The even worse news?  They don’t know how to trust their instincts.  After all, you are saying one thing and doing another.  Scary.


These are some simple strategies to help build self esteem in children every day.

Maria Murphy writes for Tutor Mentor Connection with the Monthly Mentoring Tip. To get on the mailing list, go to



To get on Maria’s mentoring mailing list, click here.

Learn more about Maria Murphy and her writing at Simply Put Together.




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Thursday, June 10, 2010
June Mentoring Tip of the Month - Lessons from Scooby Doo
By @ 10:36 AM :: 3525 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Mentoring & Tutoring Tips by Maria Murphy


My son and I have a tradition of watching Scooby Doo.  I get to relive my childhood and he gets great mommy time.  Yes, he is shocked that Scooby Doo is older than me.  Of course, there are times he asks if we had cars when I was a kid.  He’s such a tease!  So, in this episode, (my new favorite,) spastic Shaggy takes on a whole new persona. 

Velma’s cousin meets him and falls head over heels.  She thinks he is brave and honorable and amazing.  And guess who became brave and honorable and amazing?  You got it.  Shaggy.  He even donned a suit of armor in one scene.  And even the cartoonist painted him in a more attractive light.  Nice.

This got me to thinking about the people in our lives, how we look at them and how that affects them.  Shaggy felt the light of being believed in and it made him rise to the occasion.  He found strength inside of him.  Strength no one really saw before.  Even him.

How often do we shed the light of belief and instead, shadow those we care about with our doubts about them?  What happens when, instead, we show them we believe in their power to find their strength? 

 Whether it is your child, your student, your employee or your acquaintance, what if you made sure they knew you believed in them?  What if you challenged that shadow of disbelief and hung onto the light of confidence in another?  I know it isn’t fool proof and people can let you down.  But I know when I tell someone “I know we can work this out” or “I know you can get this,” most times it works out.

Consider taking a lesson from my favorite cartoon characters and watch how your mentoring ability soars simply by believing in someone and showing it.


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Saturday, May 1, 2010
May Mentoring Tip of the Month - One - Minute Lesson
By @ 3:33 PM :: 3799 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Mentoring & Tutoring Tips by Maria Murphy

As parents and mentors, we are role models, leading our kids toward the adulthood we hope they will have.  Our jobs vary from teaching the 3R’s to giving guidance on sticky situations to, at times, laying down the law.  I admit, I can be a jabber jaw.  I like to tell it and tell it again.  But the reality is, with kids, short and sweet is the answer.  We want them to learn and know the reasoning and get where we are coming from, but all that lecturing doesn’t really work, does it?  Truth be known, how much does it even work for us as adults?  No one enjoys and earful and most of us shut off after that droning begins.  The answer?

The One-Minute Lesson

If your student is caught cheating, you could go on a lengthy diatribe about honesty and their future, or you could say.  “I’m really glad we are talking about this.  I believe cheating is a short cut that ends up costing you, like it did when you got caught.  I also believe it is wrong.  I have been there and cheated myself.  Even when it worked, I knew it was wrong and I felt miserable.  I’d rather do the work and feel good about myself.  I’m glad you told me.  Let’s get back to work.  This math is really tough!”

1.      Gratitude – for the opportunity to talk about the issue.

2.       Value – How you feel about the issue and why.

3.       Personal experience – How this issue affects you (use caution and be appropriate in disclosure.)

4.       State the positive.

5.       Move on!

What is the power in the One-Minute Lesson?  Chances are, you have their attention.  What you are saying will be heard.  Second, it keeps you on track and prevents you from losing your way with a long-winded lecture.  We all remember what it was like when it was lecture time, shifting in our seats while we were stuck listening to something that seemed completely irrelevant.  Forget it!  Keep it to a minute instead.  Third, we are laying groundwork.  With a tiny seed like the One-Minute Lesson, there is plenty of room to repeat the message and send many more.  Instead of sharing our wisdom in long sessions, we are offering mini-sound bites for our kids to grab.

Give it a try.  See how effective small lessons can be when you share them with gratitude and simplicity. 

Have a great month and remember to stop at for more tips and tools.


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Friday, March 26, 2010
21st National Youth At-Risk Conference Evaluation
By Therlon @ 1:33 PM :: 6090 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Mentoring & Tutoring Tips by Maria Murphy, Conferences and Training Opportunities, Program Articles

The caliber of the speakers, the abundance of resources and being in Historic Savannah combined to make Georgia Southern University's National Youth At-Risk Conference a "must do"! Larry Bell jumped started this year's conference and got everyone "fired up right from the get go". He brought relevance, energy and a sense of urgency to the floor. I was honored along with just about everyone else in the audience for his honoring those of us in this difficult field.

All of the speakers were enthusiastic and excited about what they are doing to bring awareness to the neglected at-risk youth. If I had to pick the one workshop which I enjoyed the most at the NYAR it would be Dr. Stephen Sroka's, "The Power of One" simply because when the session ended he hugged and gave a wrist band to just about everyone who attended. He even hugged me twice! "Let's do it this time heart to heart!" What a heart warming way to inspire someone!
The Urban Leadership Institute's (Baltimore, MD) co-founders David Miller and LaMarr Darnell Shields were extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic and in harmony with each other while presenting their workshop titled " Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize: Engaging Boys of Color". Their enthusiasm grabbed your attention immediately and kept it throughout the entirety of the presentation. They clearly succeeded in in reaching their goal of Focusing Youth Service Providers how to engaged and understand the many difficulties that Black and Latino Youth face everyday.
Christian Moore took us on a "roller coaster" to get his emphasis across. A ride "through the loop" and "crashing". What an imaginative approach to help adults learn how to help youth overcome their challenges in life through music, video, etc. Experience is what I gained from Ron Glodoski. Ron's fresh new perspective to connect with unmotivated students is gained from his personal life experiences. Ron's life exemplifies the strength of the human spirit.

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