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.