Women School Leaders: Striking a Balance Between Career and Family Life
This is a qualitative study which determined how ten public elementary school heads managed to balance family and career life amidst humongous responsibilities at home and in school. The participants included in the study were selected on the following criteria: (1) must have rendered at least 5 years as a school head; (2) married; and (3) with children. The ten respondents were selected through quota sampling. A semi-unstructured questionnaire, coupled with unstructured interview was the instrument used in gathering data. The researchers set an appointment with the researcher in data gathering. Findings revealed that the participants were motivated to apply for promotion from being a classroom teacher to becoming school heads through the encouragement of their former superiors; their desire to be an agent of inspiration; their feeling that they had a mission to fulfill. The participants enrolled in the graduate school to prepare them for the leadership role and they worked well with their co-teachers to gain their trust and respect. Moreover, findings revealed that school heads were able to balance their family and career by seeking full support from their family and school stakeholders; delegating work responsibilities at home and in school; employing shared leadership at home and in school; time management; and multitasking. Furthermore, challenges encountered by the participants in balancing family and career life were revealed. These were less quality time spent with family; self-care is the least priority; lack of material resources and linkage; failure to attain high parents’ support; and having a soft-heart.
Based on the findings, a framework to balance family and career life was developed to guide other women who are struggling to balance family and career and for those who are still aspiring to be one.
Keywords - School Women Leaders, Striking a Balance, Career life, Family Life