Elementary Principals' Experiences With Coaching
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The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to explore the topic of principal coaching using principal supervisors. In the past, the traditional model of principal supervision focused on monitoring principals as building managers who hired and guided staff, cared for the building, and supervised the budget. However, today principals face an environment of high accountability, ever-increasing job challenges, and expanded responsibility for instructional leadership. Studies to understand how best to develop and support the role of principals are limited, and this scarcity of inquiry into coaching and mentoring indicates further investigation in this field is needed. The author of this study investigated the possible impact of coaching on the development of instructional leadership skills, conditions of successful coaching, and the perceptions of the coaching experience related to principals. Ten elementary principals in one urban district in Washington State were selected through maximum variation sampling. The phenomenological research design was utilized to explore the experiences of principals who have gone through principal coaching. Data were collected through detailed interviews and analyzed by coding to find common themes which reflected the principals’ experiences. The results of this research illustrate how leadership support impacts the shifting of the old model of monitoring to a new method of principal coaching. Further research can be built upon this study to address criteria for evaluating effective coaching, types of training and professional development needed to support principal supervisors and coaches, and best procedures to develop principal growth.