Successfully navigating between two worlds: exploring the dual role of the teaching vice principal at the elementary school level
This qualitative study explores the role of the elementary teaching vice principal in public schools in the Canadian province of British Columbia. This thesis seeks to explore the role of the elementary teaching vice principal and uncover how one successfully navigates between the two distinct roles of classroom teacher and school administrator. By interviewing nine elementary teaching vice principals in three different school districts around BC, several themes emerged as to how to effectively be both a teacher and a vice principal at the same time. The interviews were conducted through a phenomenological exploration using an appreciative inquiry lens. Three key themes emerged on how to successfully navigate the dual role of the elementary teaching vice principal: 1. Be a strong teacher leader 2. Foster a positive, collaborative working relationship with the principal 3. Utilize support networks and mentors Through the voices of the vice principals interviewed, we will hear how having a strong, reflective teaching practice, taking on leadership opportunities before becoming a vice principal, building a harmonious and collaborative working relationship with your principal, and having supportive professional enrichment from the school district, mentors and colleagues, all contributed to successfully navigating the dual role of vice principal and teacher. Though this paper looks to build on the strengths of what is going well, it also comes with some observations and recommendations on how to improve the capacity for educational leadership in elementary school vice principals.