Mentoring Matters for Elementary Principals: April

Leadership-life Fit:

See how exercise impacts your body, brain, and mind and get moving today to reap more benefits tomorrow!

Take on Tough Conversations:

This month’s Educational Leadership offers tips for taking on difficult conversations.

Make Mental Health a Focus:

Learn strategies for addressing and supporting students with mental health concerns.

Director of the Child and Adolescent Action Center at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Darcy Gruttadaro, offers ways in which schools can support students with mental illness and directs readers to the NAMI website for resources and training options. Iowa has several NAMI outreach affiliates.

Steps Schools Can Take

  • Educate staff to recognize warning signs so students with mental health conditions can be identified and supported as early as possible. “Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.”
  • Train staff to engage in conversations with students and families about mental health concerns.
  • Raise awareness of mental health by discussing it more frequently. Doing so minimizes stigma and increases likelihood a student will reach out to an adult if s/he is experiencing signs of mental illness.
  • Collaborate with community partners and organizations.

Read the full article, which includes a list of warning signs.

Planning for Professional Learning:

As you collect summative data for the 2014-15 year and look toward the learning goals for your building in 2015-16, you will find the Iowa Professional Development Model (IPDM) provides tools and resources to guide you in reflecting on the impact of your current professional learning plan, analyzing your summative data, determining the focus for future adult learning, and designing an effective building professional development plan.

You can access the IPDM to facilitate your school improvement process.

Monthly Checklist:

These lists are intended as a guide—we encourage you to process in your mentor-mentee team to identify other items that may need your attention!