Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's All About Relationships

The Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference was held in Chicago on Friday and about 110 people attended. Some were people I've known for a long time and others were attending for the first time.

A couple have introduced themselves on our page, and posted comments about the conference. I hope others will join them.

I network in several forums on and on Fireside Learning a discussion was started around a paper titled "It's All About Relationships" by Charles Leadbeater in Educational Leadership.

We have a new President, and a new First Lady, and that means new hope that we can move the education discussion beyond simply focusing on test scores, schools, teachers, and school leadership, to an expanded public understanding of how important relationships, a sense of belonging, social and emotional supports, and non-school learning and mentoring can be in helping build student aspirations and preparations to succeed in school

As the leader of a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program I'm constantly searching for operating funds for myself, as well as hundreds of similar programs in Chicago. Yet I keep coming up against foundation demands that I tie my work to school curriculum, individualized tutoring, and test scores.

A couple of years ago Robert Halpern, formerly from the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, and now at the Erickson Institute, wrote a paper titled "The Big Lie" in which he described the challenge facing me and others in the non-school field. You fan find this on a page titled Reframing Expectations of Out of School Programs, which is on the Partnership for Afterschool Education web site.

I feel that we're entering a time of great opportunity, and if we can connect more of the different organizations who operate non-school programs, and who understand the importance and value of connecting adults from beyond poverty with youth living in poverty, we can create new leadership, and new funding streams, that will support the on-going operations, and constant improvement of such programs in cities across the country.

If you feel the same way, meet me on our or introduce me to other forums where people are meeting to expand the resources available to support these programs.

If you'd like to understand the goals and strategies of the Tutor/Mentor Connection better, just click into some of the links along the left side of this blog. Read the articles and follow the links. If you share these with friends, associates and business associates, you can help expand the network of leaders using these ideas and thus the number of youth connected in volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring programs.

1 comment:

erinvictoria said...

Speaking of positive relationshiops...check out this article by Robb Thompson:


People were designed for interdependence and multiplication. The human heart is a bed of rich, fertile soil, just waiting to receive the seeds of influence. Those seeds of influence are planted in our hearts by our relationships, and they will produce a crop that will manifest in our characters and in the outcome of our lives. It is a process that we can neither inhibit nor stop.


The very nature of influence is to bring multiplication. Bad relationships will plant seeds of destructive influence, and the result will be a crop of bad outcomes and destruction in a person's life. By contrast, relationships with wise, honorable people will sow the seeds of wisdom and integrity into an individual's heart, producing a multiplication and harvest of wisdom, honor, favor, promotion, and increase in that individual's life.

A human heart will, without question or doubt, multiply and produce whatever seeds of influence it receives. It is impossible to prevent the seeds from producing. However, what we can and must do is choose, on purpose, which seeds of influence are planted within our hearts. The only way to accomplish this is to be extremely selective in choosing our relationships.


1. What relationships are moving you toward your future?

2. What role do you play in each of relationship you currently have?

3. Have you sifted out those who are hindering your progress? If not, why not?

Here are some principles to help you multiply your life:

• One Can Put a Thousand To Flight, But Two Won't Ever Allow Them to Land

• To Build Relationships That are Productive You Must 1st. Walk Away From The Unproductive.

• When You Are Looking For A Future You Will Never Find It In Your Past


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Through this dynamic program, you will experience the results you've always wanted. With personal coaching, we look to solve the three most common problems you face as a leader:

1. Imbalance

2. Broken focus

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As a result of going through our personal transformation system, you will walk in freedom and peace in every area of your life, you will become crystal clear about what you want and how to get there, and you'll experience fulfilling and lasting relationships.

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