The school principal is a critical influence on instructional quality, leading teaching and learning towards improved student achievement. For that reason, it is imperative that the first-year principal receives support to manage this complexity during year one transition. This role assumes added difficulty as the literature described the tension that a charter school principal experiences to balance local autonomy and accountability. While the literature offers research on leadership and development, little is known about the support systems that first-year charter school principals require to navigate the leadership transition.
The goal of this study was to address this gap through understanding how mentoring activities support the needs of these unique school leaders. Specifically, to gain insight into the first-year charter school principal experience in mentoring. By understanding this experience, a charter school organization can proactively plan support systems aiding a new principal's transition and capacity to lead the school.
A qualitative phenomenological study collected first-year charter school principals' experience through one interview using open-ended questions. Qualitative analysis coded participants' responses into four themes. The themes led to three findings: 1) principals reported feelings of self-doubt and anxiety about being the right leader for the school; 2) principals appreciated their mentor relationship but shared a desire for more focused levels of support; 3) without focused support from the organization, the mentoring experience can be random and lack specific development of the mentee. Implications for practice include establishing a leadership pipeline with focused mentoring support, consideration of personalized learning plan to honor individual principal need for professional development and incorporating reflective practice as a strategy for leadership development.
|Advisor:||Marshall, Sarah M.|
|Commitee:||Jankens, Benjamin P., McDaniel-Hall, Gloria|
|School:||Central Michigan University|
|Department:||EdD - Educational Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Michigan|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational administration|
|Keywords:||Charter school, First year principal transition, Mentoring, Personalized learning|
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