April has arrived and that means the end of the school year is just around the corner. While it may sound surprising, this is the perfect time to think about your fall plans and start closure discussions with your mentee. The great news is that the steps for closure are largely the same, whether you’re taking a break for the summer or your mentoring match has reached its end. Even if you are planning on returning, you should still do what we often call a “mini-closure” and take part in the steps mentioned below.
Leave Nothing Positive Unsaid
Now is the time to express to your mentee just how much their friendship means to you. Remark upon how much you’ve seen them grow. For example, you can say something like: “Spending time with you has been the best part of my week, and I have learned so much by watching your example of being willing to try new things.”
Celebrate Your Happy Memories
Do you have a favorite memory with your mentee? Tell them about it! Reiterate that you cherish the time you’ve spent together, and you will always be rooting for their success even if you are no longer matched.
Model Honest and Clear Communication
Your mentee is still learning a lot about interpersonal relationships and friendship dynamics. Your communication with your mentee should be kind, empathetic, and age-appropriately honest. If you know now you will not be able to return to mentor in the fall, be upfront about that. If you plan to return in the fall, express that intention.
Promise Only What You Can Deliver
We can’t control the future, so don’t promise that you’ll be back. Instead say something like, “If all goes well, I hope we can meet up again in the fall.” Life happens and unexpected changes occur. Having a positive closure experience is extremely beneficial for children who have had important adults in their lives disappear without warning.
By celebrating your unique friendship and following the above steps, you can create a positive closure experience that helps your mentee build confidence and resilience. As always, your Mentor Director is always happy to provide you with any additional guidance and support through the closure process.