In Mentoring, Relationships Rule 9/20/2011 2:26 PMExcerpt: When I signed up to be trained as a mentor with NAESP's National Mentor Program in spring 2009, I thought I would be doing something I already knew how to do, but on a more formal scale. Mentoring had become a part of me and my daily activities of instructional leadership, and I needed something to document what came to me naturally. I had counseled other younger principals in the past, participated as an expert in the Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association Meet the Expert workshop series for aspiring principals, and led a successful school. I was convinced that training as a mentor would be the icing on the cake for me, a way to certify and validate all that I had always done.
Boy, was I wrong.
The three-day training not only provided me with an understanding of my role and responsibility as a mentor, but it also became one of my most humbling experiences. The training gave me tools and strategies to strengthen my work as a mentor such as discussion, questioning, listening and goal-setting.
Participating in NAESP's mentoring program has taken me through an analytical journey of self-evaluation and reflection on my practice as an administrator and educator. It also has opened my eyes to a new dimension of leadership. One of the cornerstones of this training for me was the principle that mentoring all boils down to a stream of relationships: with your mentor coach, staff, cohort members, and above all, with your protege.
(To read Dr. Lawson's complete article, with sections on Relationships 101 and Lessons Learned, scroll to the PDF below.)
the Reflective Principal NAESP Principal magazine September/October 2011, pg. 42
by Dr. Fatima Lawson
principal L'Etoile du Nord French Immersion School St. Paul, MN
"I had to give up the urge to be the know-it-all."
Mission: The Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association is dedicated to promoting and improving education for children and youth, strengthening the role as educational leader for elementary and middle level principals, and collaborating with partners in education to assist in achieving these goals.
Leading schools toward excellence through the MESPA vision to be the premiere resource for preparing today's principals for tomorrow and a strong leading voice for public education.
Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association