Mentoring Matters: November

In addition to supporting your day-to-day leading and learning, the following resources are intended to serve as a springboard to conversation between mentor and new administrator. We encourage you to meet face-to-face, Skype, Blog, Google Hangout, email, Tweet, or in some other way connect to process the resources that are most relevant to your circumstances!

Leadership-life Fit:


Email can steal valuable time from us and contribute to a less than ideal leadership-life fit. Check out these strategies to help you manage your email and increase your leadership-life fitness level! 

Leading Learning:

Support your implementation of the Common Core/Iowa Core with free resources from

Learning Community:

In the upcoming months, the intent for this segment is to cultivate our online community by collaborating around effective, successful leadership practices in action across the state. The format will include a brief podcast/video in which a leader describes and explains the practice and shares the evidence of its success, followed by an opportunity to discuss and process the practice via a Google Hangout or Twitter chat. (Don’t worry if you don’t Hangout or Tweet yet; we have no prerequisites for learning!)

We need your help in contributing to our learning community by volunteering to share a practice you have implemented with high levels of success or by recommending the practice of a colleague.

Please email your recommendations to

Coaching Conversations: Building Teachers’ Self-efficacy

How do we as leaders build the capacity for change? When should we provide helpful advice to teachers? What does development of teachers look like? John Hattie’s (2009) meta-analysis shows feedback to teachers is highly correlated to increases in student achievement. In fact students whose teachers receive specific, clear feedback that includes directions for next steps experience increases in achievement. So, clearly, we want to develop our skills as leaders in providing quality feedback. Higgins (2012), a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, provides insight and strategies to support our work:

  1. Focus on teacher strengths.
  2. Identify how strengths can provide insight for improvement.
  3. Be specific about whether the conversation is evaluative or developmental.
  4. Carefully consider when to give help—timing matters.
  5. Ask the teacher to self-evaluate first.
  6. Invite questioning of your own views.
  7. Surface and discuss what is and is not known about strategies that might improve student learning.

Delve more deeply by clicking on this link to the article and then join the respective conversation below! 

Join the conversation …

October/November Monthly Checklist:

  • Maintain your evaluation schedule
  • Schedule classified staff for performance review per your district’s expectations
  • Prepare for and communicate regarding parent-teacher conferences and any report card notices
  • Communicate with stakeholders via a newsletter, blog, Twitter—branch out!
  • Update staff on necessary district communications
  • Prepare Iowa Assessment testing schedule fall window, if applicable
  • Submit BEDS data
  • Continue to review lesson plans, do walk-throughs, and monitor level of implementation of mandated programs and use of best practices
  • Continue to monitor implementation of district, building, and individual professional development plans (Click here to access the Iowa Professional Development Technical Guide)
  • Analyze fall student achievement and attendance data and put intervention plan in place for students who need them
  • Share policies and expectations for fall parties