“Lean on Me”: The Power of Principal Mentorship and Support

 A new article in Educational Leadership looks at district-led efforts to strengthen principals’ instructional leadership through improved on-the-job support.


Given the important role principals play in school success, how can districts promote their effectiveness, especially in improving teaching? A new article in ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine details how district-led efforts to increase on-the-job supports like mentoring and coaching are helping principals become better leaders.

The article, “Lean on Me,” is part of an issue devoted to “The Power of Instructional Leadership” in ASCD’s flagship publication, which reaches a global audience of educators dedicated to achieving excellence in learning, teaching and leading.

On-the-job support for principals has traditionally been a low priority, but districts are increasingly viewing supports like mentorship as critical to promoting instructional leadership, the article notes. In 2011, six large districts committed themselves to improving on-the-job support for principals as part of Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative , and in 2014, Wallace launched the Principal Supervisor Initiative  to support district-led efforts to focus the supervisor role more heavily on improving instruction. “Lean on Me” takes a closer look at how these efforts are playing out in both the pipeline initiative and supervisor effort districts.

To read the full article, click here.

Above photo: Tommy Welch of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia, one of the principals featured in the story. Photo by Claire Holt.