Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Poster Paper: Are Teachers' Commitment to Quality Instruction Affected By Time Spent with Principals in Teacher Development

Saturday, November 14, 2015
Riverfront South/Central (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Roderick C. Willis II, Fort Worth Independent School District
The purpose of this paper is to explore teachers’ commitment to quality instruction and principals’ time in teacher development. To this end, Internal Workforce Perceptions of Fort Worth ISD principals and teachers were analyzed simultaneously in concert with Key Strategic Measure 4.3. The sample included a maximum of 3751 teachers and 105 principals. Archival district survey data were analyzed. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) measured the effect of schools, as predicted by principal time spent in teacher development, on teachers’ commitment to quality of instruction for students. Teacher commitment to quality was analyzed at elementary, middle and high school levels. Respective aspects of teacher and principal self-reported data were analyzed descriptively.Fort Worth ISD principals provide weekly instructional leadership for teachers. Teachers are committed to providing instructional excellence for students. When looked at simultaneously, many teachers’ commitment to provide quality instruction was unaffected by principals’ weekly instructional leadership. However, middle school teachers’ commitment may be negatively affected by the time principals spend in instructional leadership. Principals on average invest 6.3 hours per week in teacher development. The average amount of time designated to teacher development does not affect high school or elementary teachers’ commitment to quality. Practical implications of this research brief may be applied to the defining of instructional leadership and defining school excellence, which is in concert with Key Strategic Objective 4.2, Define, develop and implement methods to provide an exceptional customer-centered culture, of the District’s 2013–2018 Strategic Plan. Opportunities for Improvement include teacher development should encourage teachers to increase commitment quality and reduce anxiety about fear of failure (Higgins, Ishimaru, Holcombe, & Fowler, 2012). Campus based administration should cascade consistent communication about student achievement that reinforce teachers’ psychological safety and emotional well-being (CCSSO, 2014). Recommendations include that principals should reduce the hours spent in teacher development in its current form. The amount of time principals spent in teacher development is less important than the meaning teachers associated with it. Each school level may decide to modify teacher development by building professional learning opportunities from the starting point of teachers’ commitment. Cultivating trust and empathy during training may increase commitment to quality instruction instead of reducing it (CCSSO, 2014).

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