Digital Connections are essential.
A 2014 poll revealed that nearly half the students at a school reported not being engaged.
For some of us, high school was a whirlwind of fun. There were football games, high school dances, and tons of clubs to join. For others, high school was a time of loneliness.
Student engagement and mentor support are crucial in high school, especially for students struggling to get involved. Thanks to the power of technology, students have more ways than ever to connect with others.
To learn more about the power of student engagement, specifically in a virtual sense, make sure to keep reading.
Why Does Student Engagement Matter?
Student engagement and connection motivate students to work hard and pursue their passions. We can see the power of engagement come to life clearly in this video featuring Makade the Magician.
Being disconnected from school and peers can easily lead to feelings of sadness and discouragement. These negative feelings pull a student away from exploring their passions and improving their grades, leading to lower rates of student matriculation.
Not every student is a school athlete or part of Student Government, but every student offers something valuable. Its imperative school staff works with students to connect them with a supportive community or mentor- enabling their personal growth.
Why Are Students Disengaged?
Unfortunately, there are several obstacles to overcome in boosting student engagement. Understanding these obstacles will better equip school staff members and teachers as they encourage students to participate.
- Students from low-income families often struggle with becoming involved in clubs and sports due to the money needed to support their interests. They often have to work which precludes them from involvement.
While joining a team may be free, private coaching, equipment, and travel arrangements for tournaments are costly. It’s also quite expensive to buy a musical instrument, purchase art supplies, or invest in new Student Government uniforms.
Not having enough money is especially hard if the student is surrounded by peers who can afford extracurricular activities.
Unsupportive Family Members
Having an unsupportive home environment takes a great toll on many students. In many cases, it’s unfair to assume a student isn’t involved because they don’t wish to be. Disengagement is often an extension of the home environment.
Many students feel discouraged from pursuing their passions because their family members have shown little interest. Sometimes, family members even discourage students from pursuing their passions.
This is where the importance of involved teachers and mentors comes into play! They can be the source of guidance and support a student has never had.
Lack of Direction
Some students struggle with becoming motivated due to a lack of direction. They aren’t sure what they like or what talents they possess.
Having a lack of direction isn’t something to look at with shame. Being a teenager is tough and confusing many times. Many students benefit from a supportive community that encourages them to explore their interests.
What Can We Do About It?
Don’t be discouraged! There are plenty of steps we can take to boost student engagement and success.
Obvious steps include training staff on inclusivity, making activities more accessible for disabled teens, offering inexpensive extracurricular options, and providing grants. Some school admin teams have even created mentorship programs between seniors and freshmen to build a better school culture.
While all of this is great, don’t forget the magic that can be found through a digital student mentoring platform. That’s right! Students can use their smartphones and laptops to build valuable connections.
The Benefits of Virtual Support
We understand many parents are concerned about their children using smartphones and computers. This is a valid concern, but there are benefits to students virtually connecting with mentors and support teams.
We’ll go over a few of those now!
1. Greater Accessibility
In-person mentorship often time and transportation. This is difficult for busy families, disabled individuals, and those without reliable cars.
Being able to connect with someone on the go is game-changing. As long as students have a strong data or WiFi connection, they can chat with their mentors from home.
If a student is unable to afford a personal laptop or smartphone, most schools offer computer use through their libraries. Encourage your students to use the free digital resources offered to them.
2. Better Inclusivity
There’s no income, talent, or skill requirement needed to receive support from a student agency. All students are welcome!
This is a great relief for many students. Many fear joining extracurricular activities due to a lack of knowledge and/or experience.
Mentors welcome each and every student and work alongside them as they improve their skills.
3. Schedule Flexibility
Do you know older students who are in charge of babysitting younger siblings? What about students with after-school jobs?
Finding a time to connect with a mentor is difficult. With an online student counseling platform, students have greater scheduling flexibility.
Some students may prefer chatting with mentors in the morning before their first class. Others might even have time for a session during their lunch break.
It’s crucial for virtual mentor platforms to work with their students in finding the best times to connect.
What Results Will You See From Online Mentoring?
Hopefully, you’re feeling warmed up towards the idea of online mentorship communities. You may now be curious about what results to expect from mentorship programs.
Don’t worry! There’s a lot you can expect from online mentoring.
Nothing feels better to a teacher or parent than to see their kids grow in confidence. It’s like watching your child take their first steps.
Empowered students understand their value within the education and career realm. They know they’ll make mistakes, but they also understand that they’ll succeed.
Greater confidence encourages students to try new things, step up as a leader, and pursue their passions (even if others are skeptical). This improved sense of confidence opens up doors that they didn’t even know were there.
Disengagement oftentimes contributes to hazy mental focus. By working with a strong mentor, a student will gain a clearer focus on their goals.
You might notice an improvement in their grades and study habits. They could be showing greater interest in applying for college, or they may be dedicating more time to fine-tuning their skills.
Students everywhere deserve to wake up and feel excited about their future.
Improved Social Interactions
People stray from becoming involved with a community when fearing social rejection. Making friends is intimidating!
Having a mentor is helpful because they show the student the importance of connecting with others and finding social support. Building a solid relationship with one person, even if it is virtual, encourages students to seek out other beneficial friendships.
Does your student/child struggle with opening up? As they work with their mentor, they’re encouraged to be honest about their struggles. It might take some time, but you’ll notice your child opening up more through their mentorship process.
Exploration of Unconsidered Avenues
Much like an infant isn’t aware of the possibilities outside of the home, a student often isn’t aware of the possibilities beyond high school.
A good mentor will show students the opportunities and resources that are available to them. Mentors do their research to show students the array of scholarships, college programs, and job opportunities they have available to them.
This leads to increased awareness of avenues the students have yet to consider. Many students are surprised to learn about the world that’s available to them after graduation.
Desire for Success
Parents often worry about their children who exhibit symptoms of failure to launch syndrome.
Their children may struggle with starting and completing projects, show no interest in investing in their futures, and refuse to take steps to further their education. It’s hard for any parent to watch.
A strong mentor helps students find their drive for success. They show a student that making mistakes is only part of the journey and nothing that should hold them back from trying.
Increasing Student Engagement Through Online Mentoring
Student engagement is a huge factor in student success. Unfortunately, many students struggle with digital connection and engagement due to money, accessibility, and scheduling issues.
Online mentoring programs are changing the name of the game. Students who enroll in virtual mentorship programs build their confidence, create career goals, and discover a world of opportunity.
If you’re part of an educational institute that’d like to demo a virtual student mentorship platform, check out the rest of our site. We’re a reliable student success agency helping young people everywhere reach their dreams. Click here to learn more about what we can offer your students.