One of the best ways to become involved in professional development for yourself and for educators new to the profession is to have experienced educators mentor new teachers, administrators, and heads of school. I began mentoring my eighth aspiring head through the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads program. Here a description of the program as presented on the NAIS website:
"The NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads is a one-year professional development program for individuals at NAIS member schools who wish to become heads of independent schools. Through programming, mentorship, and a school project, fellows develop their own leadership styles, learn key issues and skills, and develop a strong network. The fellowship is a critical component of NAIS's leadership development philosophy. We invest in this program because we believe strongly in the importance of nurturing the next generation of independent school leaders. Equally important is the investment that fellows, their schools, and their mentors are making in their own leadership development."
Keep in mind, to have a true mentor/protege relationship there has to be give and receive at both ends — not just mentor giving to protege. Get involved in mentoring a colleague and GIVE BACK to the profession.