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The Importance of Mentorship

Updated: Jul 24, 2022

I can recall my first year as an assistant principal. Although I felt like my experiences prior to landing this job prepared me for the new role, I was CLUELESS! I had no idea what I didn’t know yet. There is nothing that can REALLY preprare you for the tasks of an AP, no classes, no internship, no coaching position. Nothing.

In my district, there wasn’t a preparation class for assistant principals. You had instructional coaching classes, but this job is far more than just coaching. If you were lucky, as a coach, you had a principal who afforded you opportunities to handle “admin like tasks”. But that unfortunately isn't the norm. There wasn’t anything to prepare me for what the job required.

Looking back, I realized that I would have at least FELT more confident, if I had a systematic mentorship in place. I had a couple friends I could call who were already APs, but to have a true mentorship, no. Honestly, if I was able to, I would have hired a coach, but a mentorship would have been a blessing.

Last year, at this time, I was on vacation, and by vacation, I meant I was home doing other work, not related to school. I was thinking to myself, what could I do to help new assistant principals as they enter into this administration position? I quickly realized that what many districts were missing was a mentorship program.

I wanted to take some of the topics that I knew were important and add conversation starters to facilitate the relationship between mentor and mentee. I wanted to create something I could have used as a new AP. I wanted to ELEVATE the AP…

In this manual, I touch on the following topics:

  1. Start with the basics

  2. Where is your passion? And GOAL setting

  3. Organization is key!

  4. Show me the data!

  5. We all need support in something!

  6. Reflection is IMPORTANT

  7. Relationship building 101

  8. You cannot run away from conflict

  9. Instruct. Inspire. Improve.

  10. Open discussion

Mentorship is so important. I hope that all new APs are afforded the opportunity to form a relationship with another AP that will help them get through their first year!

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