Principals and Mentors Plan Their Related Roles

An Example activity- Gaining agreement on roles by mentors & principals

– ACTIVITY –

Planning – Will the Principal Do Any of the Mentor Tasks?

The District has provided a general set of checklists entitled “The Tasks of Mentor Teachers” which was developed from the experience of the staff on the Mentor Program Committee and by evaluating similar checklists from experienced mentors in other districts. These general checklists are meant as a starting point to help mentors decide what may be appropriate in their specific settings based on grade level, content areas, the protege’s experience, agreements with principals, and the mentor’s strengths.

Principals also fulfill some mentoring functions as a part of their job as the building administrator. Given that reality, there needs to be some means of coordinating “who does what” concerning mentoring tasks. The purpose of this activity is to ensure that mentors and principals have time provided to discuss the support to be provided and to be clear about their respective responsibilities for the tasks involved mentoring new teachers.

This will be done by determining if any of the items on these checklists are activities:

  • The principal might prefer to lead for the mentor & protege
  • The principal might prefer to lead for the protege alone
  • The principal & mentor might conduct together.

No set number of items is expected to be removed from the mentor’s list and assigned to the principal. This is likely since building administrators were represented on the Mentor Program Committee that originally developed these check lists. In fact, it’s OK if a principal prefers that mentors do all of the items.

(Note: this activity assumes that principals are at the mentoring training for this time period.)


Proceed during the mentor training to do as follows:

1. The principals should get together and the mentors should get together in separate groups . Limit the groups to about 5-6 people if possible.

2. While in the separate groups review and discuss the items on each of the check lists. Prepare a tentative list as follows:

  • Mark an X in the margin by those items which seem to be more appropriate for the building administrator to do.
  • Mark a ? in the margin by those items which might be shared or done by both
    the mentor and the building administrator .

The activity to examine the lists is done this way to facilitate brainstorming. Principals and mentors from an individual school may choose to do whatever they feel is best.

3. The principal and mentors from each school sit together at one table. Principals from a school with no mentors this year can sit with another school of the same grade level as their own.

4. While in school groups mentors and principals should:

  • Share their tentative lists with each other and discuss each other’s views
  • Reach agreement on the items identified.

5. At the end of the year revise the list and share it with the Mentor Committee.