Term of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 1

Teri Denlea Melton

Committee Member 2

Ethan Hildreth


The primary focus of this study is to ascertain how elementary school principals deal with difficult teachers. Two sub-questions were addressed in the study: what the different types of difficult teachers that elementary school principals encounter were and what types of strategies elementary principals found to be effective when dealing with difficult teachers. This study provides information for principals on how to deal with difficult teachers. The researcher found there to be minimal research in this area. A qualitative method in the phenomenological tradition was utilized to explore how elementary school principals deal with difficult teachers. Ten principals from a suburban school system in the Southeastern United States took part in face-to-face interviews during the course of this study. Constant comparison/grounded theory was used to analyze the data. The researcher found that though all principals utilized similar strategies in dealing with difficult teachers, how these strategies were applied depended on the individual administrator. Resistant teachers were found to be the most difficult teachers to deal with. The results of this study provide a point of reference for future studies on how principals deal with difficult teachers. INDEX WORDS: Dealing with difficult teach

Research Data and Supplementary Material