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Principal Mentoring

Principal Mentoring
A Safe, Simple, and Supportive Approach

Foreword by John C. Daresh


December 2008 | 128 pages | Corwin

"Weingartner practices what he preaches. He shares lessons learned from his many years of running one of the most successful principal mentoring programs in the nation. His practical and straightforward approach is grounded in the day-to-day realities and exigencies of the school principal."
—Lois J. Zachary, President
Leadership Development Services

Develop a principal mentoring program that produces effective leaders and high retention rates!

Responding to a critical shortage of school leaders, this timely and invaluable resource offers a mentoring approach that supports new principals' professional development while helping reduce the stress-and-burnout pattern that is common for many school administrators.

Based on years of successful experience, Carl J. Weingartner shows school and district leaders how to design a sustainable, adaptable principal mentoring program for urban, suburban, and rural schools—without a lot of extra costs, paperwork, or time. This book offers guidelines for recruiting, supporting, and retaining effective principals and methods for helping novice principals achieve success in areas such as improving curriculum and student achievement. The book also covers:

  • Developing supportive mentoring relationships
  • Assisting new administrators with individual professional growth plans
  • Advising on district mandates, operational/funding issues, and standards
  • Fostering effective time management, communication, and self-evaluation skills

Offering a total support system for new principals, this mentoring guide provides a proven road map for a principal mentoring plan that builds strong schoolwide leadership.

Foreword by John C. Daresh
About the Author
1. Advocating for the Beginning Principal
Why Mentoring in Our District?

The Anatomy of a Beginning Principal

Professional Organizations

Scenario: Sharing the Wealth

Key Points

Recommended Reading

2. The Beginning of a Mentor Program
APS District Demographics

The Birth of the Albuquerque Mentor Program

Budget Justification

Selecting a Coordinator

Key Points

Recommended Readings

3. A Work in Process
The First Stages of Development

Vision and Mission Statements

Program Guidelines

Job Descriptions

Program Process

A Total Support System for New Principals

Key Points

Recommended Readings

4. Program Implementation
Step 1. The Process Begins

Step 2. The Initial Coordinator-Mentee Meeting

Step 3. Conferring With the Mentor

Step 4. The Planning Session

Step 5. The Other 5 Percent

Key Points

Recommended Readings

5. Simple Program Enhancements Make a Difference




The Morale Factor

Scenarios: Extra Support for Supporters

Key Points

Recommended Readings

6. Applying the Mentoring Concept to Small School Districts
Organize a Study Committee

Purpose of the Study Committee

Scenario: A Simple Form of Mentoring

Key Points

Recommended Reading

7. The Accountability Factor
End-of-the-Year Evaluations

Alternative Assessments

Program Evaluations

ESP Ten-Year Program Assessment (1995-2005)

Key Points

Recommended Readings

8. The Art of Mentoring the Beginning Principal
Concepts for Effective Mentoring

Establishing the Mentor Pool

Suggestions for Mentors Working With Mentees

Mentoring Versus Coaching

A Coaching Concept


Level-to-Level Mentoring

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Scenario: A Mentor's Wisdom

Key Points

Recommended Readings

9. Finding Time to Become an Instructional Leader
It's a Matter of Time

Time Management Suggestions

The Importance of Strong Instructional Leadership

Demographic Data for Instructional Implementation

The Evaluation Process

Scenario: Reciprocal Mentoring

Key Points

References and Recommended Readings

10. Caution, Pitfalls Ahead!
It's About Time

The Funding Dilemma

Plan, Plan, Plan

Do Not Take Stress and Burnout Lightly

Scenario: A Heavy Load

Superintendents and Upper-Level Administration

Scenario: Solve the Problem

Key Points

References and Recommended Readings

11. Reflections

"Carl Weingartner is one of the leaders in the field of mentoring programs for new principals. He shares his thinking about mentoring, materials he used in his program for over 10 years, and stories of mentoring that exemplify the ideas he discusses.”

Susan Villani, Senior Program/Research Associate
Learning Innovations at WestEd

"Weingartner practices what he preaches, and in this volume he shares lessons learned from his many years of running one of the most successful principal mentoring programs in the nation. His practical and straightforward approach is grounded in the day-to-day realities and exigencies of the school principal.”

Lois J. Zachary, President
Leadership Development Services

"Weingartner has been an outstanding professional for over 30 years, and he has done an exemplary job in developing and implementing this mentoring program. I would have liked to have had a program such as this in the beginning years of my experience as a principal."

John B. Mondragón, Professor Emeritus
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

"Provides a rich description of the ins and outs of developing, delivering, and monitoring mentoring programs for beginning principals. Not only will these insights assist staff developers in improving their programs, but beginning principals will learn how to better manage their time, become more involved in curriculum and instruction, and reduce their stress and tendency to burn out from the hectic pace of the job.”

Bruce Barnett, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
University of Texas at San Antonio

adopted the book - "The Portable Mentor" which was a better alignment

Mr Jim Bagniewski
School Of Education, Viterbo University
January 4, 2010
Key features
  • Focuses on mentoring with chapter-by-chapter summaries
  • Features recruitment and retention as key themes
  • Includes case scenarios
  • Incorporates charts, graphics and points of interest in the pedagogy

Sample Materials & Chapters




Chapter 1

For instructors

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