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Aesthetic leadership: Stories of support, relationship, and success among novice teachers and school administrators

Sandra J Dop, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This narrative inquiry examines novice teacher and administrator perceptions of beginning teacher needs and the role of the administrator in meeting those needs. Open-ended questionnaires were sent to 20 novice teachers in their second to fifth year of teaching and to 17 administrators in 20 public and private school districts of various sizes over three Midwestern states. Questionnaires were analyzed for emerging themes in order to develop first round interview questions and to identify 3 novice teachers and 3 administrators who would provide the voice for each group through the interviews. This study moves past the teaching/learning check lists and practical how-to guides to the impact the lists and guides actually have on novice teachers. The intent is to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomena surrounding the process of beginning to teach and insights regarding ways to concretely address new teacher development and retention. The narratives which result create images that personify the checklists and how-to guides while giving a voice in the literature to novice teachers themselves. Administrator involvement and accessibility was an overarching theme. Other interrelated themes concerned emotional needs and social needs, mentors, classroom management, culture or specific school procedures, and time management, planning and curriculum. The data revealed that building a culture of trust and relationship is foundational to the development and retention of novice teachers, and the administrator participants emerged as exemplars of what recent literature has identified as aesthetic leadership. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Dop, Sandra J, "Aesthetic leadership: Stories of support, relationship, and success among novice teachers and school administrators" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3215087.