A Qualitative Study: Instructional Leadership Strategies to Support the Professional Development of Alternatively Certified Teachers
Smith, Terra R
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The purpose of the study was to explore instructional leadership support strategies that supported the professional growth and retention rates of beginning teachers with zero to three years of teaching experience, particularly alternatively certified beginning teachers. Over the last decade in Texas public schools, approximately 50% of beginning teachers have received their initial teacher certification through a fast-paced alternative teacher certification program. It is critical that alternative certified teachers in Texas receive additional instructional support from school principals during the first few years of service to leverage their success and retention in the classroom. This qualitative study incorporated an online survey and one-on-one interviews related to instructional leadership support strategies that principals provided to all beginning teachers. Beginning teachers, both traditional and alternatively certified at each campus, participated in an online survey to gather their perspective on how instructional leadership strategies on their campus influenced their professional growth and decisions to remain at their campus. The study’s findings supported the importance of building relationships and giving feedback with all beginning teachers to foster professional growth. This study also showed a need for increased instructional leadership in the areas of classroom instruction and classroom management to all beginning teachers, especially for beginning teachers who are alternatively certified.