Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

8-2009

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

Virginia P. Foley, Louise L. MacKay, Cecil N. Blankenship

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to build a conceptual framework to explain the influence of team building among elementary school teachers to improve teacher morale. This framework is intended as the foundation for a team building model to provide principals and teachers with a guide for implementing sound team-building activities into inservice training and throughout the school year. What are the best practices for implementing team building and how can these practices encourage teachers to have a more positive outlook on their profession? The variables include school environment, school climate, different principals, principal changes, years of teaching experience, teaching and planning time, school populations, and types of student programs at the school.

This qualitative case study was conducted using interviews of administrators and teachers from 7 public elementary schools located in Southern Appalachia to discover how teambuilding activities influenced their perceptions of teacher morale. School observations captured the climate of the schools and each school's School Improvement Plan (SIP) and Staff Development Plan were examined.

The researcher coded transcripts into themes, patterns, and the following conceptual constructs: (a) communication, (b) change, (c) building community, (d) acknowledgement, (e) work morale, (f) time, (g) team building, and (h) teamwork.

Findings confirmed that administrators and a majority of the teachers showed evidence of high morale. The administrators reported that team-building activities at their school promoted open communication and a positive working environment. Ninety percent of the teachers discussed that team building brought the faculty together and improved communication and the overall climate of the school. Ten percent of the teachers interviewed came from 2 schools that had vertical team meetings during their planning time. They complained that vertical team meetings were a waste of time. For the most part team-building activities incorporated in the schools influenced keeping teacher morale high. Many teachers welcomed opportunities to work with their coworkers on school decision-making teams as well as in off-campus socializing.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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