A Study in Leadership Practices that Cultivate Elementary School Teachers' Well-being During a Global Pandemic
Jones, Courtney Elizabeth
MetadataShow full item record
The COVID-19 pandemic placed greater demands on school leaders and caused ongoing disruption to teaching and learning. Faced with unprecedented challenges, school leaders have made critical changes in how they lead their school communities (Brinkmann et al., 2021). The study aimed to investigate the perceptions of elementary teachers within the United States concerning the identified leadership practices needed to cultivate teacher well-being before and during the global pandemic. A literature review revealed the commonalities in what highly effective principals do and their impact on student achievement (Grissom et al., 2021a). Researchers synthesized five practices of effective principals: instructional-focused interactions, building and fostering a productive school climate, facilitating collaboration, strategic management, and leading for equity (Grissom et al., 2021b). The study involved interviewing twelve elementary teachers' working in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. The interview questions investigated the perceived leadership practices implemented by principals to foster teacher well-being before and during the pandemic. The research questions were as follows: (1) What leadership practices of elementary school principals do teachers perceive have positively impacted teacher well-being prior to the COVID-19 pandemic? (2) What leadership practices of elementary school principals do teachers perceive fostered teacher well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic? The outcomes of the study offered awareness of elementary teachers' perceptions of school leadership practices that cultivated teacher well-being before and during the global pandemic.
General Audience Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic caused many school districts to make rapid changes with little communication with teachers regarding instructional expectations. Educators faced unprecedented challenges, including shifting from in-person teaching to virtual learning and the uncertainty about their health and safety. The focus of research for this study included elementary teachers who taught for three or more years within the United States and during the pandemic. The qualitative study determined what twelve elementary school teachers perceived as the most effective leadership practices in cultivating teacher well-being during a global pandemic. This insight may be invaluable to a school leader's approach to leading teachers through a crisis. The study involved interviewing twelve elementary teachers from working in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. The interview questions probed teacher perceptions and identified leadership practices that cultivate teacher well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The researcher identified five findings and four implications. The small sample size limited this study. Ensuring that teachers work is valued, their voices heard, and facilitating meaningful professional development are necessary to cultivate teacher well-being before and build a sustainable education system. Suggestions for future research include investigating the impact to teacher well-being over the course of a school year through interviews with building leaders and the teachers they serve and investigating teacher well-being and its impact on teacher retention and burnout.
- Doctoral Dissertations