Friday, November 6, 2009

Tips for Mentoring with Bike Repair (Part One of Many)

From time to time, everyone has a difficult or frustrating afternoon in the shop -- at our staff meeting last Monday, we added to an ongoing list of tips to keep in mind when you're fixing up a bike during our daily drop-ins:

-No two people learn the same way, and it never hurts to ask a student what works best for them.
-Quite often a step backwards precedes a big step forward.
-Mentors and students have equal footing in the shop, but it is most often up to the mentor to lead.
-Teach by example, even when clueless -- learning together teaches how to learn.
-Expect to be tested by students (and when it happens, don't take it personally).
-Consistency goes a long way.
-Set boundaries, and respect them. Ask for student input regularly.
-When frustrated, it's ok to walk away and return with a fresh perspective.
-Disrespectful language and behavior are not acceptable -- the shop must be a safe place for everyone.

More to come, so stay posted!

1 comment:

  1.  No two people learn the same way. Ask each student what works best for them.
     People often take a step backwards before taking a big step forward.
     Both student and mentor have equal footing but mentors usually lead.
     Teach by example, even when clueless. Learning together teaches how to learn.
     Expect to be tested by students. Don’t take it personally.
     Consistency goes along way.
     Set boundaries as necessary. Respect boundaries. Ask permission of students.
     It’s okay to walk away when frustrated and return with a fresh perspective.
     Disrespectful language and behavior are not accepted.
     Make small goals, celebrate and acknowledge reaching them.
     Students do the work for themselves. Mentors help, participate, and guide.
     Expect that students don’t know how to be safe. Practice safety as a rule.
     When in doubt, ask for help!
     Ask students to show you how to solve bike repair problems.
     Assess the balance between student’s skills and level of challenge.
     Sometimes the bike chosen is too challenging to repair so pick an easier one.
     Never discard parts until the bike has been completely repaired and inspected.
     Keep dismantled parts organized in one space and in the installation order.
     Return all tools and parts bins to their home in the shop for others to use.
     Listen and watch for kids’ interests, strengths, challenges, and show interest.
     Learning and developing skills creates power of choice and opportunities.