Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mentoring and Coaching Tips

Nothing a principal does impacts student learning more than having good teachers in every classroom. One of a principal's most important roles is cultivate a high quality teaching staff. Too often we get distracted by the unexpected events that occur in any school---an unplanned visit by a parent, a discipline problem, a request from the superintendent. But it is important to intentionally focus on the role of mentor and coach. But some of the most effective mentoring relationships are between colleagues---teacher to teacher. In a recent blog by Sheryn Waterman for Eye on Education suggests four important tips for maintaining a close, supportive mentor relationship among teachers. They include:
  • Proximity - Close physical proximity makes it easier to get together. But for school leaders more frequent visits and interaction can create proximity.
  • Frequent Contact - Talking with each other regularly helps to build a relationship that is central to successful mentoring.
  • Quality Conversations - Assure that the interaction is high quality, about teaching and learning.
  • Classroom Observations - Learning from observing and co-teaching deepens the relationship and the conversation. 
Additional information about how to nurture a supportive mentoring relationship is in the blog and in Sheryn's new book Mentoring and Coaching Tips: How Educators Help Each Other.

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