Principals' Time Spent Off Campus and Their Perception of its Effectiveness



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An educational leader must perform many roles from being a business manager to instructional leader. Principals are required to be “jacks of all trades” to meet the challenges of today (Shelton, 2008, p. 4). A principal has the most influence in implementing changes and affecting the climate and culture of the educational organization (Anderson, S., Leithwood,K., Louis,K.S., & Wahlstrom, K., 2004; Shelton, S. V., 2009). According to Fuller and Young (2009), the recent research findings indicate that in order to advance and sustain the increased performance of students, it is crucial to have a strong principal in a school to lead the change. This study is a section of a survey study of principals in Houston and surrounding areas in Southeast Texas. The focus is to find out on average how many hours the participants work per week, the average percentage of the time they spend off campus during the week, their perception in whether they feel they are using their time effectively, the emerging themes of what they consider effective use of time and ineffective use of time, and to find out who arranges the mandatory off campus meetings. It is a quantitative survey research with five open-ended questions and one Likert scale question. A mixed methods approach is used to analyze this study. The responses were analyzed using correlational techniques, statistical, and causal-comparative approach. The totals of 178 usable responses were acquired through the use of cognitive interview of each principal. The demographic information of the participants were obtained to further analyze the data based on gender, experience level and experience range of principals, TAKS rating, and the location of school. The result revealed principals’ average working hours were 59.8 hours a week. The average percentage of hours spent off campus was 13.5% a week. Other findings related to the perception of how necessary it is to spend the time off campus, the description of the effective and ineffective use of time off campus, and who arranges the off campus meetings will be useful for the administrators and the school districts in the future.