Questions and answers with Jared Kallen
Q: Why do young people need mentoring?
Q: How is mentoring an important part of being an effective educational coach?
Q: How do you approach mentoring? What is your philosophy?
Q: How do you establish rapport with your students?
Jared Kallen: I create a bond with my students by sharing my own story—which eons ago was about lack of motivation, depression and lack of direction—and eventually what turned my situation around. What did change my life was consistency of behaviors, rinse and repeat. Now more than ever, students cannot be lectured or “talked to.” In an age of videogames and iPhone snapchats, they need to be fully engaged and entertained. I offer this to my clients in spades.
Q: What personal qualities make you an effective mentor to students?
Jared Kallen: I’m entertaining, empathetic, engaging, and I use lots of prompting and cueing. I cajole my students by encouraging ownership. I say things like, “I don’t want to put words in your mouth.” Or, I ask, “Are you with me?” or “Should I run that past you again, no problem?” An effective mentor demonstrates a ton of positive energy and extraordinary amounts of patience. I endeavor to embody these attributes.
Q: How are you an especially effective academic mentor to people with learning differences?
Q: How are you an effective mentor to students who don’t have learning differences?
Q: How have you seen your students improve their habits, their approach to studies, and their understanding of life under your mentorship?
Q: How do you identify and eliminate students’ unproductive life narratives?
Jared Kallen: I first do a great deal of research, gathering information and the “backdrop” from both parents and referring learning specialists and therapists. There really aren’t that wide a variety of narratives that young people produce, they are easy to identify and eliminate. When I first meet with the student, I share my own false narratives and how they handicapped me. I am a reformed perfectionist who earned straight A’s in high school. At one time, I was much less willing to take risks or extend myself because I was always too focused on achieving perfect grades. What does this do? It allows the student to understand that all of us have unhelpful narratives we need to reverse. At this point, a strong rapport has been established and the student feels comfortable delving into his or her false narrative. Every student has a story. If they do not want to delve into it, I gently remind the student that, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”
Q: How do you reframe your students’ perspective?
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
I am quite familiar with Jared’s work and follow-through—his never-say-die attitude and approach, his creativity—and it is impressive, notable, and refreshing. Importantly, he does not shrink from challenges; rather, he embraces them! For over 30 years now, Jared has been studying human behavior—what makes people really tick—and he has armed himself with techniques and tools to “reach” just about anyone. He is unafraid to share his experiences and challenges with his clients, which makes them want it more. It could be a 25-year-old young man who cannot seem to graduate from college. It could be a 23-year-old woman who cannot seem to keep a job. It could be an 11th grader who has no confidence in her writing ability and sees no future for herself. It could be a 17-year-old young man who is suffering from untreated addiction AND who was just diagnosed with ADHD. It could be an 8th grader who does not know how to read critically or has no understanding of proper grammar—and who refuses to brush his teeth. The point is: it really does not matter. He provides massive support and precise academic coaching—and organization techniques—but with a very rare and intuitive energy. Rapport is King. I therefore offer my highest recommendation for all of Jared’s services and, in my extensive experience in this same field, have not encountered ANYONE like Jared.