The fear of and failure to adopt a mentorship culture in schools has led to decreasing performance, increasing poor staff relationships, tensions and reduced productivity.
Although the private sector uses this tool as a management strategy to leverage performance, the concept is yet to gain traction in some schools. It is important that the top down, side to side and bottom–up approaches to mentorship be used in schools.
In How to Build a Successful Mentoring Programme, Horace Mc Cormick, project director UNC Executive Development, acknowledges the importance of mentoring in shaping organisational culture.
In the simplest form, corporate mentorship is the systematic and deliberate transfer of knowledge, skills and experience.
The school leadership has a definite channel of career progression and advancement. This means that most school managers are largely people who have been in the field for considerably longer periods.
Time To Mentor
It is, therefore, important that the leaders should create apt environments and time to mentor and prepare those in their team to be ready to lead.
Strained relationships hinder transfer of experience. It has created when teachers who have operated within their comfort and zones are enable to grow and develop.
Teachers who secure promotion and deployments sometimes end up underperforming because they did not benefit from a skills-transfer wherever they were. A leader should always expose people to different activities.
A school is a diverse ecosystem that brings together employees from different cultural backgrounds, orientations, skills and expertise. Good environments allow teachers to share opinions, ideas and knowledge across departments and levels.
The other avenue that has largely remained explored is the reversed mentoring. There has been a belief that newly employed teacher should be mentored by the older and supposedly more experienced colleagues.
However, the new generation of teachers often brings some freshness, vitality and alternative approaches.
School should leverage on diversity, create running systems, increase team capabilities, upscale performance and provide clear and effective leadership development plans.
***This article first appeared on the Business Daily Newspaper***