As the end of the school year approaches, we encourage you to start thinking about closing your match with your student. Match Closure is the process of transitioning or ending relationships with your students, and as our friends at MENTOR point out, it is a natural part of the mentoring life cycle.
Taking time to discuss this transition with your mentees can be very beneficial for both you and your students. Please review our Match Closure Checklist for important guidelines. Here are a few additional match closure tips that mentors and teachers can reference when thinking about ways to creatively end matches for this school year.
• Let the student or students know a few weeks ahead of time when your last meeting will take place, and spend some time discussing how that will feel for them.
• Discuss summer plans with students and encourage positive activities like reading, practicing math skills, being active, volunteering, or finding a summer job.
• Plan a special activity together during the last meeting, such as making each other cards or presenting the student with a certificate of achievement.
• During the final meeting, talk about how enjoyable the relationship has been. Tell the student(s) about his or her great qualities (for example, creativity, sense of humor, hard work, and perseverance). We encourage mentors to let the student or students know how those qualities and strengths will help throughout life.
• Provide time for the mentor and mentee to discuss their feelings about the school year and the match ending.
• Provide suggestions on a special activity they can do together on the last day, such as writing thank you notes to each other.
• As a way of helping the mentor transition out, discuss how valuable the relationship has been. Let them know how beneficial they’ve been to the class and to the students’ progress.
• Recommend that the student continue working with his/her academic mentor to the appropriate party, like a student support coordinator or future teacher.
For more research-based tips on ways to close a youth mentoring relationship, check out these resources from some of our friends: