This study was designed to investigate the assessment of school principals’ mentorship of subordinates in Imo state secondary schools. Five research questions and five hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. The population for the study comprised of 558 vice principals and 5,135 teachers making of up 5693. Sample for the study comprised 514 teachers and 56 vice principals. The instrument for data collection was a structured questionnaire titled school principals mentorship of subordinates questionnaire. The instrument was faced validated by three experts, two from Education Administration and Planning and one from Measurement and Evaluation, all from the Department of Educational Foundations University of Nigeria Nsukka. The questionnaires were trial tested and cronback Alpha reliability test was used to determine the internal consistency of the instrument and this yielded reliability co-efficient (0.79). Data were analysed using mean and standard deviation to answer research questions and t-test statistics was used to test the null hypotheses formulated at 0.05 level of significance. Based on the findings among which is that the overall mean values indicates that the opinion of vice principals and teachers with regards to principals exposure of subordinates to instructional leadership was to a great extent. It was recommended that adequate principals’ mentorship strategies should be adopted in secondary schools in Imo State to ensure effectiveness. These mentorship strategies include instructional leadership, fostering friendliness, keeping good school community relations, supporting staff career development and school discipline. This could be achieved by organizing seminars and workshops to enable principals imbibe the mentorship skills in the day to day running of their schools.

Background of the Study
The idea of providing novices entering any field or profession and those already in the profession with a wise, experienced guide and role model dates to ancient times and has gained widespread acceptance in many walks of life. From law, medicine and nursing to business, engineering, architecture and library work. Within public education, mentoring for teachers began to spread in the early 1980s as part of efforts to reduce attrition and improve instruction quality. Having a quality relationship with school administrators is important to novice teachers as well as experience ones because principal’s support influences teachers’ job satisfaction and decisions to remain in teaching.

Mentoring is a very old concept in a new guise. It can be traced back to Greek mythology when Odysseus entrusted his son Telemachus to the Goddess Athena, who disguised herself in human form as mentor, an old friend of Odysseus. Her function, according to Homer (2001) was to act as a wise counsellor and helper to the youth. Mentoring then became common practice in the time of the guild and trade apprenticeships when young people, having acquired technical skills, often benefited from the patronage of more experienced and established professional. Most successful people in any walk of life probably have had one or more people over the years who have established particularly a strong influence over their lives and careers.

Mentoring therefore can be seen as a deliberate pairing of a more skilled or experienced one with the agreed-upon goal of having the less experience person grow and develop specific competencies (Murry and Owen 2002). Also, mentoring according to Mckimns (2003) connotes an assistance given to an individual in other to enable him/her grow in the profession. In the same vein, Okondayo (2007) defines mentoring as a relationship which exists between the mentor (principals) and the mentee (teachers and vice principals) with the aim of assisting the mentee to cope with a new situation like a new job or a change in personal circumstances or in career development.

Bozeman and Feeney (2007) defined mentorship as a process of informal transmission of knowledge, social capital and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development which entails informal communication, usually face to face and enduring a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom or experience (the mentor) and the person perceived to have less (the mentee). By this definition, mentoring is a process which involves time, helping, personal development and relationship between an expert which in this study is principals in Imo state secondary schools and a neophyte being teachers and vice principals in Imo state secondary schools. The principals in this study as mentors are expected to give their expert knowledge so that their subordinates (vice principals and teachers) will develop their full potentials while in teaching profession.

However true mentoring is more than just answering occasional questions or providing ad hoc help. It is an on-going relationship of learning, dialogue and challenge. One can deduce from all these definitions above that mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experience or more knowledgeable person which in this study is the school principal, helps to guide the less experienced and less knowledgeable person, which is the vice principals and teachers in this study.

This cordial relationship between the mentor and the mentee with the aim of assisting the mentee to grow in the line of business if effectively applied in the school system may yield result that is capable of maintaining effective school administration in Nigeria (Onyedineke, 2001). This is because, teaching has always been described as a multifaceted, and complex task that requires guidance from experience or senior colleagues. Conventional Wisdom among Educators, (2011) outlines the concern that new teachers are poorly introduced to the profession, resulting in a loss of the best and the brightest among these teachers. In other words, mentoring in school setting could be likened to maintaining and facilitating professional growth among teachers.

Therefore, for principals in Imo state secondary schools to fulfil this mentoring role to their subordinates (teachers and vice principals) in this study, they have to create conditions which promote the growth and development of these subordinates within their schools. They can do this by exposing vice principals and teachers in Imo state to instructional leadership. Instructional leadership can be defined as those actions that a principal takes, or delegates to others, to promote growth in student learning (Flath, 2000). School principals in Imo state can expose subordinates to instructional leadership, by promoting on-going evaluation and professional development of these teachers, they will also ensure that their relationship with teachers and vice principals are of high quality and supported with time for planning and collaboration. If principals are to take the role of instructional leader seriously, they will have to free themselves from bureaucratic tasks and focus their efforts towards improving teaching and learning. Also, principals in this study act as mentors to their subordinate by fostering friendliness among their subordinates which in turn will create good rapport and conducive atmosphere between teachers and vice- principals for effective teaching and learning to take place. They also mentor subordinates by supporting their career development through In-service educational programmes; Seminars and workshops and occasional teachers’ group discussion; supported by the school principals.

Furthermore, since secondary schools in Imo state brings up their students to grow into useful members of the community, it is then necessary for principals as mentors to create avenues which will encourage teachers and vice principals to keep good school community relationship. According to Mgbodile (2003) school community relations can be describe as the degree of understanding and goodwill achieved between the school and the community. Principals in Imo state can promote school community relationship, by making sure that parent teachers association meeting is in place in the school for parents and teachers interaction and also by allowing teachers and vice principals participate in important....

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