Vance L. Austin 0000-0002-0310-2454
Stephen J. Caldas 0000-0001-9609-6112
Micheline S. Malow 0000-0003-0752-9954
Forty school administrators in the Lower Hudson Valley of New York State were surveyed about the characteristics of preservice and novice teachers believed most critical. These administrators represented a broad and socio-demographically diverse cross-section of rural, suburban and urban school districts. The administrators collectively rated establishing rapport with students and behavior management as the most critical skills for preservice and new teachers to possess. Examining roles separately, assistant principals valued rapport with students and creating effective lessons as most important, whereas principals rated effectively communicating with parents and guardians, and reflecting on teaching performance as being most important. The most frequently cited reason for not hiring or reappointing a candidate was lack of engagement with students. An ability to collaborate with colleagues as well as competence in working with students with disabilities and ELLS represent skills administrators also valued in teacher candidates. Furthermore, administrators identified authentic classroom experiences prior to student teaching as invaluable preparation for the classroom and a “difference-maker” in the quality and effectiveness of preservice teacher candidates. Finally, administrators noted areas of current and future job demand; need and growth areas for teachers were reported to be STEM and STEAM, Special Education, Bilingual/Language Education, and Dual Certification.
Austin, V. L., Caldas, S., Malow, M., & Ecker, A. J. (2021). Administrators’ perceptions of critical teacher skills. Excelsior: Leadership in Teaching and Learning, 13(3), 247–274. https://doi.org/10.14305/jn.19440413.2021.13.3.05 CCBY.