Is Mentoring Beneficial to New Education Leaders?
No matter what position you are in, assuming a new role with many new tasks and expectations is a challenging endeavor. This emotion is amplified for education leaders (principals, superintendents, curriculum creators, and so on) who are responsible for the direction, vision, and progress of a school that will impact hundreds of lives. It is critical to provide new education leaders with the support structure they require to be successful in the short and long term. Mentorship programs for education leaders are becoming increasingly widespread, which is a good thing.
What Is Mentorship and How Does It Work?
Mentorship is already popular in the education field; as new educators are typically partnered with a senior teacher to serve as their mentor for the first year or two at their new school. These collaborations have several advantages, including decreased attrition rates, improved teaching techniques, and the development of a stronger community. The mentor teacher also benefits from the partnership because they get to work closely with a partner who may have new suggestions or approaches to the topic.
This strategy is beginning to be reflected in educational leadership roles since many of the advantages outlined above for educators are the same or run parallel to educational leaders. The difficulty in developing education leader mentorship programs stems from the low number of professionals in these roles. This implies that a school may need outside third-party consultation for a mentoring program, usually requiring additional expenditures.
The Requirement for High-Quality Educational Leaders
The link between high-quality education leaders, high-quality schools, and good student achievement is undeniable. Low-quality leadership is also more likely to lead to poorer-quality schools and, as a result, lower student performance. New school directors are expected to seize the reins and “learn on the job,” which is an unfavorable approach in such a powerful position.
Providing support structures for these leaders, such as mentorship, can only benefit them, their school, employees, and students. The unfortunate fact is that, similar to teacher preparation programs, most graduate programs in education leadership are overly theoretical and out of touch with the realities of today’s school systems. This further disadvantages young leaders, necessitating a greater demand for high-quality support.
Just as new instructors require help, new school leaders also need it. While there may not be as many options accessible to these leaders, sometimes all it takes is a simple phone call to a colleague administrator for assistance or a conversation with the superintendent to get these initiatives started.
While this is easier said than done amid all the other responsibilities and duties, it has the potential to assist thousands of people over a few years.