Rural teachers’ perceptions of leadership practices influencing efficacy

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Desrochers, Kathryn Marie
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education.
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge,Faculty of Education
Teacher efficacy and resilience have been shown as influential in teacher retention, achieving student outcomes, and educational change. This study sought to gain insights into leadership practices that highly efficacious teachers perceived to impact their effectiveness. Nine highly efficacious teachers from a rural school division in Alberta were interviewed. Data were analyzed using a phenomenological thematic approach. Findings revealed the importance of relationships, collective responsibility, clear direction, positive reinforcement, investment, communication, learning, and feeling part of a team. Recommendations outline key leadership characteristics and practices that may influence teacher efficacy, including: developing strong personal relationships; being visible and present to remain connected to classroom practices and pedagogy; cultivating trust; utilizing strong communication skills to support and guide teachers, as well as set direction and expectations; effective and responsive instructional leadership; and providing structures to support teacher collaboration.
teacher efficacy , teacher resilience , school leadership practices , school leadership behaviours , school climate , school culture , instructional leadership