Most human relations happen ‘below the surface’. By using mentoring techniques you can develop positive high impact relationships with each of your learners.

In teaching, as with mentoring, ‘power and knowledge’ are closely related; Many teachers unconsciously use the ‘power – knowledge’ model to deliver a subject knowledge and assert power over those being taught, to ensure each learner is engaged in learning and reach their learning potential.


Mentoring practitioners are trained to use the knowledge of;

  1. What makes a learner tick
  2. What’s important to them
  3. How they best learn
  4. What their sensitivities and triggers are
  5. Who’s in their core network
  6. And most importantly what their base values are

Awareness of these core aspects help to build
powerful, understanding, trusting, reflective, integral, progressive adult to adult or parent to adult relationships.

Many may say that your students are not adults and should not be treated as such. They are children, yet in transactional analysis a parent – child relationship used between teacher and learner can be not only unproductive, but also toxic, especially when working with young people of today’s youth culture.


Members of today’s youth culture believe that they;

  • Deserve to be given to truth
  • Are equal to adults and indeed all members of society
  • Are entitled to unearned respect
  • Are free to speak their truth and to be honest to others
  • Deserve to be in the presence of genuine people
  • Should be provided services by people of integrity, who genuinely care
  • And lastly – they believe that they are free to express themselves and their creativity.


And it is the understanding of these core values that create the space for effective positive relationships.

With appreciation for the values of modern day youth culture, when challenges occur, as a teacher, you will already have the foundation to create a safe, non-judgemental space for the learner to reframe experiences, explore new perspectives and take courageous positive actions; all with the aim to develop the skills to overcome seen and unseen barriers.

And that is the essence and empowering dynamics of a healthy adult to adult relationship.





About our Community Expert 


Elaine Thomas
Community Expert

Director of The mentoring Lab, Elaine has over 15 years of experience in teaching, employment, mentoring, supporting learning and career progression.

Elaine is the Opogo community expert working with young people and adults to prevent underachievement in their learning or careers.