ERIC Number: ED357916
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Become a Principal? You Must Be Kidding.
Hurley, J. Casey
This report examines the rural principal's role by investigating the attitudes of rural school teachers who have "principal potential." Interviews were carried out with 25 teachers from 5 rural school districts who were identified by their peers as having school leadership potential. Respondents were asked to reflect on advantages and disadvantages associated with the principal's role. Only five of the teachers interviewed expressed interest in becoming principals. Others either were not interested or stated that the principal's role would have to change significantly before they would consider it. They viewed the role of the principal as: (1) too distant from the instructional core; (2) involving too many non-instructional duties; (3) too large to perform duties effectively; (4) requiring too much time away from family; (5) providing too little direct contact with students; (6) requiring behaviors that do not match personality; (7) affecting existing relationships with teachers; (8) lacking autonomy and control; (9) seldom offered to a woman; (10) disciplinarian, affecting relationships with students; (11) too political; and (12) needing redefinition. To attract teacher-leaders into the rural school principalship, the principal's role should focus more on instructional leadership and activities that directly affect students. School restructuring suggestions should be carried out so that more educational decisions are made at the school level, school cultures become more collegial, and more female teacher-leaders are encouraged to become principals. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Rural Education Association (84th, Traverse City, MI, October 9-13, 1992).