Emotions and teacher leadership : a case study of teacher leaders in four primary schools.
Blose, Gloria Nontsikelelo Busisiwe.
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Emotions and teacher leadership is a developing field of study in many countries. The purpose of this was to examine the experiences of teachers with regard to emotions and teacher leadership. It sought to determine the importance of teachers being emotionally intelligent, to determine the strategies used by teachers to manage their emotions in relation to others and investigate how the school management teams support teachers in managing their emotions in relation to others. This study draws on Goleman’s (1995) theory of emotional intelligence and teacher leadership. A qualitative interpretivist paradigm was used in the study. A case study research design was used. Data was generated using focus group and semi-structured interviews. Four primary schools in the uMzinyathi District of KwaZulu-Natal were purposively selected as the case study schools. Teachers and head of departments (HODs) served as participants. The findings of the research revealed that teacher leaders who are able to control their emotions are likely to cope in stressful situations and be successful. The findings further revealed that teacher leaders with high emotional intelligence have the ability to handle relationships and protect themselves in compromising situations. Furthermore, the findings indicated that teacher leaders who are aware of their emotions are able to support each other in difficult times. One of the things the teacher leaders can do in order to manage their emotions is to remove themselves from the stressful situation for a short period of time so that they have enough time to think and reflect on the situation. The study recommends that the department of education ensures that all teacher leaders attend workshops which train teachers on how to manage their emotions. Teacher leaders should serve as role models with regard to emotions so as to encourage learners to be in control of their emotions. The school management team should encourage activities that promote team spirit among teachers. The HODs should take the lead in ensuring that teachers are in control of their emotions and there is a healthy relationship among teachers at school.