On the Topic of Mentor Posts

Given the growth of mentor issue/advice posts, I personally feel these topics often solve nothing for any parties involved. It’s useless to ask CD for advice about bad mentors because there are so many bad mentors on CD, and they will justify others behavior to justify their own.


Strange take… Not sure if it is satire or you are serious.


I am being serious.


Maybe not “so many” but there a few of the classic “bad mentor” archetypes, many of whom likely don’t realize it.


Oh. Well then, everyone just stop asking for help on CD then.

There. Problem solved.


In that case:

A student reaches out to a group of unknown people in confidence that their knowledge may help address a problem. Asking for help when the need it.

Sounds like there is some valuable life skill development occuring under some messy circumstances.

I will deal with the front page of CD having a few threads about this. In my mind not a problem.


I think a lot of these posts are futile for entirely other reasons, but I’m not sure someone casting doubt on one parties interpretation of a situation makes asking for advice about said situation pointless.




The mentality of a lot of mentors on this platform isn’t conducive to giving students help with mentors who are active detriments to their program.

Do with that what you will.


Yes, so much. Whenever you feel wronged it is important to consider what the party you feel wronged you may have been trying to accomplish . The principle of charity goes a long ways towards resolving conflicts. Doesn’t mean the person wasn’t wrong but it gives some insight to begin conflict resolution.


Yes, so much. Whenever you feel wronged it is important to consider what the party you feel wronged you may have been trying to accomplish .

This is precisely why I said what I said, why must we be on the defensive for mentors without ever considering if what they did was wrong from the beginning?


It isn’t defending mentors. Or any party that may be doing wrong. It is providing a tool for conflict resolution. Just as the rest of my post pointed out.


We want these “bad” mentors engaging. Hear me out.

Presumably the people who don’t realize their own toxicity believe that their perspective is the right one. It’s often not until this stuff is called out that people realize how toxic their own behavior is.

The inverse can be true, too. There are folks that believe they are mentoring in the best possible way and fixed in that mindset. It’s often not until they see a contrast that they realize the alternatives.

These dialogues help growth not only for the OP, but for mentors, too.

Anyone who posts on a public forum should have the expectation that the quality of response will vary and should never take all advice at face value. Using a forum like this requires critical thinking, and having a diversity of opinions (including some garbage takes) presents a great opportunity to hone in on the ability to distill the salient information.


I will add to this, a lot of times my responses to people aren’t even necessarily made with the expectation of changing the mind of the person I’m arguing with, but to changing the opinions of everyone else who reads it - as it is rare to change peoples minds who you’re arguing with as people entrench themselves.


Students should 100% keep posting here with these issues. Every opportunity we as mentors get to read about issues on other teams is a chance for self-reflection.

Having a place for students to vent their frustrations is also insanely valuable, even if we don’t help solve their problems.

I’m not really sure who you consider a “bad mentor” because I’m sure there are people here who would say I am one, so I don’t really have much to add to that point. I’d just encourage more and more kids to post here.


And Volunteers (a tangent, I know, but still important). I’ve not been a mentor for a couple of years now, and everything I read brings self-reflection through the view of being a volunteer as well.


thanks don, really appreciate the help


Preach it.


I definitely agree Akash. It’s our job as mentors of FIRST to make the kids feel safe and feel heard. The kids that post on here are not looking for solutions because they already know and understand their options. They are looking for someone to say that their voice matters and deserves to be heard. They just want an ounce of care and respect that they don’t get them n their team.

I personally see it as if I were a teacher, see a student walk into my room crying. They tell me about the rough life that they are having at home and are asking for someone to talk to/place to stay to get away from it for a bit. How can we turn our backs on that?

Even if a lot of the time it’s hyperbole and they in fact might be part of the problem, it’s still our job to be there as ADULT MENTORS to the students of FIRST.


Since I got a few :question: I will elaborate:

I have also seen students seeking advice on CD to deal with toxic adults only to have toxic adults on CD defend or justify the bad behavior. I don’t really think students should avoid posting on CD, quite the opposite in fact. However, I am glad that a (presumably) student is speaking their mind on the subject in a public forum.