You Need More Than One Mentor
Through the years at being a principal, I have learned that no one person can be a master of this job. It is just too big! Therefore, I have found that having one mentor is just not enough. I have a mentor for: data, instruction, special education staffing/services, district politics, and sanity.
There were several ways that I found these people. Mainly, I just asked my peers who really enjoys one of these topics and several answered back with enthusiasm. Being a principal can be a very lonely job and when there is a time to connect with someone who either has similar interests or genuinely need your help, it helps one feel not so isolated.
My data mentor LOVES data! I mean she has charts all over her office, in her desk drawers, and even more on her computer. She loves crunching data. She finds it fascinating and comes across some really interesting correlations. Correlations that no one has ever found. I can only handle her data enthusiasm about every other month but I never leave her without learning something new that has improved my leadership, especially how to visualize the data in different ways.
I have to admit that instruction does not “jazz” me. I am just not a curriculum person. I tend to avoid the professional development session on the TEKS and how they fit together. Don’t get me wrong, I know my stuff when it comes to instruction but I just get very little energy from working with the scope and sequence. However, I have found a mentor who loves this whole instruction/curriculum world. Moreover, she loved teaching other leaders that world. I can learn more in 30 minutes with her than I can a full day attending a session at our central office.
My point in writing this post is to encourage you to seek out different mentors who can help you in this position. This job is tough and overwhelming at times. Having people around you to help you do the job might make the difference in you staying in the position a year or many more to come.