Principal encouragement has emerged as a key factor in the growth of new teachers. New teachers, who highlighted the important role their principal played in their development, trusted their principal. They felt they could speak openly about their learning without the worry of being judged. Simply put, new teachers felt they had their principal’s support.
Below are examples of how principals can support the professional learning and growth of new teachers by embedding the foundational mentoring skills outlined on page 12 of this manual.
- Introducing new teachers to multiple mentors in their school
- Helping connect new teachers to mentors beyond their school with experience related to their specific teaching context (e.g., French as a Second Language [FSL], Indigenous Language Education, Special Education)
- Modelling inclusion, openness and collaborative practice
- Engaging in goal setting conversations
- Working towards reconciliation and responding to the TRC Calls to Action
- Demonstrating flexibility of stance and role (consultant, collaborator, coach) based on the needs of each person
- Deepening understanding of challenges specific to particular teaching contexts (e.g., FSL, Indigenous Language Education, Special Education)
- Being available for ongoing questions, conversations and feedback
- Utilizing protocols like scaling questions and appreciative inquiry to help new teachers reflect on practice, build confidence and develop efficacy
- Facilitating opportunities for new teachers and mentors to engage in classroom observation and debriefing in their own school or other schools
- Allocating time and resources to support collaboration with multiple mentors