Factors that impact administrator-teacher relationships

Patrick Sean Gray, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

Retaining teachers continues to be problematic for educational leaders across the country. With these numbers steadily increasing, one must examine the reasons as to why teachers are leaving the profession and how school administrators can address these problems if schools are going to maintain and increase their levels of success. Reasons teachers leave the profession can be attributed to the relationship teachers have with their building-level administrator. The purpose of the study is to identify as well as describe the frequency and relative importance of circumstances that may impact administrator-teacher relationships. A questionnaire, developed by the researcher, was mailed to teachers to gauge their perspective on the following factors that may impact the administrator-teacher relationship: the administrator leadership style, the inclusion of induction/mentoring programs, teacher isolation, professional development/support, teacher incentives, and administrator-teacher relationships. Demographic information included gender, the grade level, number of years in the classroom, years taught in current school, and the ability level of the students served. Data was collected from 79 teachers from schools of varying performance levels based on No Child Left Behind accountability standards. A Multiple Linear Regression found a statistically significant relationship between the dependent variable, administrator-teacher relationships and the independent variables, administrator leadership style, induction mentoring programs, teacher isolation, professional development/support, incentives offered, and the relationship teachers have with their administrator. The study also found that the administrator's leadership style had the greatest impact of all the independent variables. In addition, the study found that the administrator-teacher relationship may depend upon the performance level of the school based on state and/or federal accountability standards.