Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Among the many scarce resources that principals must conserve and use wisely, time may present one of the more persistent challenges to their leadership practices. A simultaneous and equally challenging practice for school leaders is engaging in systematic reflection that serves to mitigate time constraints and emotional upheavals of the job. Reflection, and resistance to it, emerged as a theme during a yearlong-program that emerged from a school-university partnership, focused on the development of district-level coaches to support experienced principals in becoming more reflective leaders for continuous school improvement. The program uncovered principals’ resistance to the pauses in their practices that reflection requires. These principals and coaches also reported emotional reactions to persisting mandates on school accountability. This paper offers some insights into how reflection may balance the ongoing emotional dynamics and time constraints of schooling, and the degree to which the mentoring program supported principal protégés in this effort.


This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2013 annual meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration.