Date of Award:

12-2021

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Committee Chair(s)

Alyson L. Lavigne

Committee

Alyson L. Lavigne

Committee

Amanda Taggart

Committee

Andrea M. Hawkman

Committee

Liliana Castrellón

Committee

Parker C. Fawson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the roles and responsibilities of elementary school principals in relation to how they are evaluated and what is included in their job descriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the numerous policies that surround education and the COVID-19 pandemic, this study examined elementary school principals from a single school district in Utah. Seven principals agreed to participate in an interview that asked principals about their day-to-day responsibilities as a principal and how COVID-19 affected those responsibilities. Six principals agreed to participate in a daily reflection on how much time they spent participating in a variety of principal responsibilities. These principals reported feeling a great responsibility towards student learning and safety. However, they spent most of their time working on responsibilities either relating to the whole school (such as in formal meetings or watching out for students during recess, drop-off, etc.) or participating in responsibilities that do not directly affect the classroom or school such as their own professional learning or filling out reports. When compared to the district’s job description and the state’s evaluation template, there was evidence that principals were participating in nearly every job description item and evaluation strand. However, the job description and evaluation do not cover the same items or responsibility topics and principals reported participating in several responsibilities, particularly related to COVID-19, that were not included in either document. Suggestions are made for future research to examine these documents to ensure they are aligned and that the documents are dynamic enough to adjust to unusual circumstances, such as COVID-19, to ensure that principals do not feel conflicted in their responsibilities due to misalignment and the needs of the unforeseen moment.

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