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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume II, Issue 1 2013 feel good about it because I have a say. Just the thought, that he gave me that opportunity to have a say I mean, it takes me a long way. Rebecca addressed the cultural expectations of her staff directly. She was assertive in her approach but did not prevent her employees from expressing their opinions. Her relationship with her faculty is evidence of the trust and respect that exists. Rebecca is not a victim; she is in control. Her strong internal locus of control means that circumstances or events do not adversely shape her responses. She states, So in order to operate so many problems I try to like talk to them. You know, in staff meetings. Or sometimes one to one if somebody’s saying something and it reaches to me and it’s not, you know, appropriate. And they know it, I sit down and I talk to them. And, so we had not much of those kinds of things at my school. And it was so surprising like when I talked to all the other principals; they were surprised at it because I have all males. Even the manager one time come to me and say, “oh Mrs. How do you do it? How?” He asked me if maybe they’ve made me cry yet. Because he knows they can be very challenging. But no. they were, they were good. We had to do a lot of, I had to sit down a lot of times with them and so, but nothing that I could not handle out of, you know, out of the limit. I didn’t get that challenge. Rebecca did not let the cultural problems with her leadership grow. When she was aware of anyone on her staff questioning her authority, she addressed it. A teacher who believed a woman should not be a principal was accepted as routine, but this assertion was not going to be allowed to remain unchallenged. Rebecca assertively promoted the goals of the school while publicly discussing cultural concerns with her role. Rebecca learned to be tough from her father, but she also learned from the disappointments and challenges she faced along the way. Rebecca shared about her first principal experience in which she was promoted over another woman who wanted the job. This woman was her friend and former classmate but was angry that she was overlooked and made Rebecca’s job more difficult. And so she knew me for a long time, and she gave me a lot of challenges. It was my first time being a principal. And so she challenged me a lot along with the community. And so I gained from that experience. And what we didn’t have time was to sit down and really you know talk about it and discuss it. She taught me a lot though. I did not see it in a negative way that oh she didn’t, she, I knew that she might have wanted the post and that could have contributed to what she did to me. For those few months, was very good because she taught me a lot. Learning from challenges is often difficult. Emotions often provide signals to retaliate and behave in less than professional ways. She knew that her manager expected tears and emotional responses from her because she was a woman, but Rebecca averted the negative reactions and took a proactive position to learn from these moments. The lessons from the challenges helped her as she took the principalship in the rural village. 37

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JTWSE—Volume 2  

JTWSE—Volume 2  

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