Mentors play a critical role in developing aspiring principals’ capacity to lead schools toward positive change. An effective mentor principal exposes aspiring principals to all aspects of leading a school, from organizing instructional improvement efforts, to managing and maximizing school operations, to navigating interpersonal and organizational dynamics, to engaging parents and the broader school community.
The best mentor principals take responsibility for creating a robust learning environment for aspiring principals by: giving aspiring principals authentic decision-making responsibility; making their own thinking transparent; deconstructing leadership challenges; and providing ample time for collaborative reflection with aspiring principals on their leadership moves.
To accomplish these objectives, mentor principals need explicit professional development. The NYC Leadership Academy provides mentor training in two formats: 1) in-person sessions for a cadre of mentor principals, and 2) a self-guided online course. Both formats focus on the following topics:
- Identifying the conditions for a strong mentor relationship
- Explore and self-assess against the core competencies of an effective mentor
- Assessing mentee’s areas for growth
- Engaging mentees in standards-based learning opportunities and monitoring progress
- Acknowledging and embracing the risks and challenges that are components of effective mentoring
- Providing effective feedback
In addition to formal training for mentors, we consult with mentor program directors to incorporate our professional development curriculum into existing programs.