Mentoring – Why We Need to Give Back



I wanted to push myself and give back to our profession and noticed that many of us principals are missing something in our field, and that is the opportunity to mentor a new principal, or, as a new principal, to be a protege of a veteran principal.  We all know how lonely it can get as administrators and I want to give back to our profession.  We mentor our first year teachers, why aren’t we good at mentoring our new administrators.

So, I enrolled in the NAESP National Mentor Training and Certification Program. I didn’t know what to expect from this experience.  I love professional development and love to learn.  Sometimes, I get a little leery of the “sit and get” type of pd and get turned off.  I have to say, this wasn’t the case and if it did, we had avenues to let our voices be heard.

Our trainers, Dr. Kathleen Sciarappa and Dr. Adam Drummond were great.  They listen to us, were patient, modeled scenarios, and let us talk.  We moved through the slides, had lively discussions about areas to help our “protege” and even talked about our day-in and day-out areas that affect our lives. We studied the six standard of the principalship:

  1. Lead schools in a way that places student and adult learning at the center.
  2. Set high expectations and standards for the academic, social, emotional and physical development of all students.
  3. Demand content and instruction that ensure student achievement of agreed-upon standards.
  4. Create a culture of continuous learning for adults tied to student learning and other school goals.
  5. Manage data and knowledge to inform decisions and measure progress of student, adult and school performance.
  6. Actively engage the community to create shared responsibility for student performance and development.

What really resonated with me after the 2 1/2 days were the relationships that we made among ourselves.  There was a synergy happening with our cohort, something I hadn’t experience with adults in a while.  We had the same purpose – we want to help and give back to our profession.  We want to share what we have learned and also reach out to those who need that help and listen to their concerns and coach them to find their way.

This is not an easy profession.  We know we have a moral obligation to help our students be the best.  As principals and lead learners, we have a moral obligation for our teachers to be the best of the best.  As educators and lead learners, we need to say, “The buck stops here.”  Sometimes, that isn’t easy.  But, for our cohort, we want to give back to our profession so we can help those principals move from administrator to lead learner, and be the best not only for the staff, but for their kids, school and community.  Every principal and lead learner needs to be a champion for our new principals.  I look forward to the challenge and will continue to blog and write about my journey.  Jump in folks – our profession needs the help and we are lacking in this area!

  1. Reflections of the 2014 NAESP Conference | Rethinking Education
  2. Principal Mentoring – Why We Need It | Rethinking Education

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