Teacher appraisal is a necessary tool to manage staff, hire new candidates, and develop senior members. Principals use formal quantitative tools that reflect the competitive social environments in which schools operate. This study explores school principals' informal attitudes regarding the personal and professional traits they believe teachers should have or not have. Following Yariv's (2009) study we compare heads in four countries – Botswana, Romania, India, and Israel. Within a non-random convenience sampling, we held a short telephone interview (or written questionnaire) with 132 elementary and high school principals. The two most preferred traits in the entire sample were high motivation and accountability. As it turns out, school principals are less impressed by traits like professionalism or honesty. The two least preferred traits are the poorly motivated teachers and those who lack professional values and conduct. Phi and Cramer’s V test indicated a significant association between nationality and the traits of effective and ineffective teachers. The discussion analyzes the hierarchy of considerations principals maintain and the central role of the common characteristics of principalship upon national and cultural influences.
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