Mentoring Matters for Assistant Principals: May

Leadership-life Fit:

Increase your mindfulness (being fully present and aware) in order to reduce your stress and build your resilience by making these simple practices part of your daily routine.

New Principals Note Strengths and Challenges:

NAESP facilitates a panel for new principals. See where they feel most effective and what they have identified as most challenging. Connect with resources to support areas of challenge.

Facilitating an End-of-Year Reflection:

Shape your end-of-year conversations with your leadership team and/or staff and guide next-steps planning in your improvement process using this questioning guide.

Adapted from A Principal's Guide to Leading an End-of-the-Year Reflection by Louise LeBron, M.S., and Lee Anne Sulzberger, M.Ed.

In a cycle of continuous improvement, schools and districts designate certain points during which data are collected and analyzed to determine progress toward goals and next steps in the process. The end of the year marks one such point. Following are questions suggested below by Moody, Russo, and Casey (2005) that can facilitate conversation among district administrative teams, district leadership teams, building leadership teams, and/or full staff.

As a faculty, do we share a clear understanding of our school improvement plan (e.g., Iowa Professional Development Model—PD plan) and its implementation?

  • How has our plan been communicated? How do we know we have a shared understanding of how it will be incorporated into the work of the school?
  • What team structures support teachers
  • How are we accountable to our plan?

As a faculty, do we feel supported in our efforts to change instructional practice?

  • What does our systematic classroom observation protocol look like? How have we included opportunities for coaching, feedback, and reflection?
  • What evidence do we have that our teaching practices are consistent to ensure that all students achieve their instructional goals?
  • What evidence do we have that our professional development plan meets the needs of our teachers?

Are we focused on student achievement?

  • Are there ongoing conversations about learning outcomes? When and with what frequency?
  • Are we analyzing data in structured conversations to monitor the impact of the changes in our instructional practice?

What will our next steps be?

  • How do we celebrate our accomplishments regularly?
  • How shall we revise action plan goals and objectives based on data analysis to foster student and staff success?
  • How do we reflect on barriers that hinder us from reaching our goals? (Friend & Cook, 2007)


Friend, M., & Cook, L. (2007). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school professionals (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Moody, L., Russo, M., & Casey, J. S. (2005). Examining instruction. In K. P. Boudett, E. A. City, & R. J. Murnane (Eds.), Datawise: A step-by-step guide to using assessment results to improve teaching and learning (pp. 155 -175). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

May and Summer Monthly Checklists:

Review the “To-Do’s” as you wrap up the school year, and remember these lists are intended as a guide and are not all-inclusive! Process in your mentor-mentee team to identify other items that need to be addressed.