What is the role of a mentor?

A mentor provides critical support for the aspiring principal and plays a number of roles in his/her development. The mentor and facilitator have the collaborative responsibility of assessing the aspiring principal’s progress and ensuring he/she receives opportunities for learning the needed skills to be a successful principal. During school site visits, the NYCLA facilitator and mentor observe, coach, assess, and provide critical feedback to support the leadership development of the aspiring principal.

  • Mentors build capacity in the aspiring principal by: 
    • allowing the aspiring principal to try various approaches when solving complex problems 
    • assigning meaningful school-based work 
    • allowing the aspiring principal to take risks and participate in high-stakes decision making
    • delegating authority to the aspiring principal 
  • Mentors facilitate the aspiring principal’s learning by: 
    • designing scaffolded learning experiences (observing, participating, collaborating, leading) consistent with the principles of adult learning 
    • creating learning experiences that assist the aspiring principal in developing skills needed to lead a school, particularly in areas of systems and strategic thinking as well as problem-solving
    • addressing the aspiring principal’s individual needs, the needs of the school and the requirements of the Academy/program 
    • setting goals and expectations 
    • being transparent about their decision making process and sharing mistakes