Identifying leadership practices for mentoring preservice teachers


Peter B. Hudson

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There are many forms of leadership and concepts of school leadership have evolved significantly over the last few decades. Mentoring is a form of leadership, where the classroom teacher (mentor) leads and guides the preservice teacher towards advancing teaching practices. What do school executives identify as their leadership practices and what leadership practices have inspired them? This study uses a five-part Likert scale survey with extended written responses that were coded into themes. These participants indicated they had leadership potential, which they associated with being organised, passionate and knowledgeable about education, interpersonally-skilled to build relationships, and visionary with action plans for improving education. These practices were also identified by participants as inspiring practices from leaders they knew. Generally, these participants perceived themselves as transformational leaders. Transformational practices associated with individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, and idealized influences were agreed upon by 80% or more of the participants. Mentors need to understand inspiring leadership practices and identify their own leadership practices that may lead towards reflection on practice and, hence, a way to make educationally-sound changes in leadership behaviour.