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Mentoring Matters for Elementary Principals: May 2019

Leadership-life Fit—Attending to the Well-being of the Team 


A recent Gallup report reveals 44 percent of Americans feel burned out at work at least some of the time. Try these 3 strategies to win big over burnout! 



Serving English Language Learners 


How well do your resources support the needs of your English Language Learners? Use this inventory tool to determine areas of strength and opportunities to develop stronger materials. 


Check out the At-a-Glance ELLs in the U.S.


Leading with Mental Health in Mind 


Connect with any of these resources to better understand anxiety and how to support your students (and teachers) who suffer from it. 


Anxiety affects one in three students and presents differently in each. No one-size-fits-all treatment will address all those who suffer anxiety. This makes it especially challenging to serve their needs; however, these practical resources can pave the way to better understanding anxiety.

  1.  Anxiety and Depression Association of America - … “a leader in education, training, and research for anxiety, depression and related disorders.”
  2.  National Alliance on Mental Health - Learn about anxiety disorders and options for treatments as well as strategies for caring for those who have the disorder.
  3.  Apple Podcast: Panic Attack Recovery - This series of podcasts includes contributions from those who have suffered anxiety and how they have navigated their disorder.
  4.  NPR Podcast: Helping kids with anxiety
  5.  What to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone with Anxiety
  6.  Mental Health First Aid – How to Help Someone with Anxiety
  7.  Classroom Interventions for Children with Anxiety Disorders (medically reviewed article)
  8.  State of Iowa Mental and Behavioral Health Resources

Helping Teachers Finish with Energy in the Tank 


Veteran principal, Matthew Howell writing for Edutopiashares several strategies for managing his expectations for teachers so they have the energy to finish the year strong.  

  1. Use teachers’ time effectively. 

  1. As John Hattie notes, 95 percent of what we do in education works. Focus on what works best and stick to it. Say “no” to good and even great ideas that will dilute the energy needed to accomplish current tasks aligned to your focus.

  2. Start small. If it’s a new strategy or initiative, begin implementation with a few who are interested—perhaps model teachers supported by other teacher leaders. Build capacity with a few to gain momentum and work out the bugs. Meet for a purpose and keep it focused. How might you be the filter for your staff? Can you summarize, synthesize, or delete as needed the information that comes down through the system to them and share only what is essential in an email? Can you gather feedback via Padlet or Google Forms? 

2. Listen. 

  1. Stay close to your staff. As you walk the halls, visit classrooms, engage in meetings, be aware of what is and isn’t being said. If someone needs time to finish assessing or entering data or someone is supporting an ill family member, is there an opportunity to help that person in some way? Can the team brainstorm options to provide support?

  2. Stay close to you. Tune into your own needs, what your own body is telling you! For you to be in the best service of others, you must first be sure your tending to your own energy.

 3. Communicate with intention.
  1. Words matter. Give gratitude. Be positive. Offer encouragement.

  2.  Return to your purpose and state it often. Recalling our why can help push us through difficult times and refuel our tank.


Read the full article


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!