Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Rhonda Jeffries


The purpose of this study was to determine what leadership behaviors high school teachers perceive as having an impact on teacher morale. This qualitative study explored the oral history of nine teachers from various high schools across South Carolina through semi-structured interviews. Various factors emerged regarding principal behaviors and characteristics that impacted teacher morale. The personal experiences shared by these teachers provided an insight of the actions and behaviors that increased or reduced morale. The study identified four factors that increased morale: (1) administrative support and trust; (2) recognition; (3) positive relationships; and (4) positive school environment. Factors that decreased morale were negative administrative behavior and district office mandates. Their stories highlight what school leaders can do to enhance their leadership practices and consequently improve teacher morale and student achievement and those practices in which they should exercise caution.