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    Perception is Reality: Teachers\u27 Perceptions of the Presence of Servant Leadership Characteristics in Public School Principals and its Influence on Teachers

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    This phenomenological study explored teachers’ perceptions of the presence of servant leadership characteristics in their school principals and how the principals’ use of servant leadership characteristics influenced teachers. The primary phenomenon was the teachers’ perceptions of their principals’ use of servant leadership characteristics based on their direct personal experiences with the principals and the intrinsic and extrinsic influence on their behavior. A nonrandom sample of 16 public school teachers from Grades 1 through 12 from three similar districts in a southern California county was recruited. The elementary, middle, and high school teachers participated in one-on-one semi structured interviews. The data from the 16 oral interviews indicated that principals’ use of servant leadership characteristics, as perceived by the teachers, intrinsically and extrinsically influenced the teachers. The interviews generated seven themes regarding perceptions held by the teachers regarding their principals’ use of servant leadership characteristics. When principals in public schools exhibit servant leadership characteristics, teacher satisfaction and retention are impacted. Therefore, consideration must be made for use of servant leadership as a framework and model for teachers’ perceptions of their principals’ use of servant leadership and how those perceptions influence teachers
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