Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Make Mentoring Matter

The April issue of The Learning Principal focused on effective mentoring for school principals. While there is much research to demonstrate the value of mentoring programs for teachers, school leaders are often left in much the same "sink or swim" situation that is said to account for teacher attrition in the first three years. According to the authors, "Principal mentors can provide the rich set of job-embedded learning experiences that develop instructional leadership competencies." Too often mentoring for administrators has focused on tasks like observing a staff meeting which do little to help the aspiring leader understand "how to set the tone and culture for high performance and continuous school improvement." Mentors need to know how to be a good mentor, and the new principal needs a mentor who can help them get beyond the day to day management of a school to also focus on long term leadership.

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