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How I Mentor

I’ve done a lot of informal mentoring to self-directed teens through NBTSC and Unschool Adventures that ultimately led me to start offering a more formal guidance service last year. For this I created a Student Contract that outlined the basic premises of a healthy mentoring relationship. A friend of my newest mentee got a kick out of it, so I thought I’d share it.


Blake’s Rather Informal Student Contract for Consulting

Dear Future Mentee/Student,

For you and I to work together, I’ll need you to agree to basic set of non-negotiable premises. If you have any questions about these premises, please ask.

To complete this contract, please initial each line and sign at the bottom.

  • The point of this consulting relationship is to improve my life. In pursuit of such a lofty goal, I acknowledge that both I and the consultant have the responsibility to work hard, keep an open mind, and compromise every once in a while.  ___
  • If this consulting relationship does not appear to be improving my life, both I and the consultant have the option to cancel it immediately. In this case, a refund for unused consulting hours will be provided.  ___
  • I agree to treat the consultant with basic respect and dignity, even when frustrated, and I expect that he will do the same for me.  ___
  • I agree to speak with direct honesty to the consultant, and I expect that he will do the same for me.  ___
  • I acknowledge that whining, complaining, and chronic use of the phrases “I can’t”, “I wish”, and “I hate”, and “I don’t know” will not help me achieve my goals or contribute to a productive consulting relationship. I agree to avoid these behaviors and turns of phrase to the best of my ability.  ___
  • Over the course of this consulting relationship, I intend to figure out and pursue my deepest interests, curiosities, values, goals, and passions. I will not substitute my family’s, friend’s, or society’s values for my own.  ___
  • While pursuing my deepest interests, curiosities, etc., I will be expected to work hard, be excited, be curious, and engage with my work. These are the characteristics of passionate and intelligent people, one of whom I intend to become/remain.  ___
  • I acknowledge that boredom is largely my own choice.  ___
  • I acknowledge that, as a citizen of a mostly free and well-off developed country, I have a huge number of opportunities (educational and otherwise) that billions of people across the world do not have.  ___

By initialing above and signing below I indicate my willingness to abide by the listed premises during my consulting relationship with Blake Boles.

Student Name: _____________________________________
Date: _____________