Exploring the reasons teachers stay in the profession: a case study in one Midwestern urban high school
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The purpose of this qualitative bounded case study was to find the factors that lead teachers at SS High to remain in teaching and more specifically, to stay in their current building. A review of literature provided revealed that teachers are leaving the profession and moving between buildings at alarming rates that in turn negatively affect our children's education. An examination of why teachers stay in the profession was rarely studied and relates to what motivating factors are prevalent for the teachers to stay. Literature revealed motivational strategies from theorists Herzberg, Pink, and Maslow like autonomy, purpose, empowerment, and leadership opportunities that lead to more teacher satisfaction, which then can lead to greater teacher retainment. This study used semi-structured interviews with teachers who had four-ten years' experience, a focus group with teachers with 11-30 tenure, and a pertinent document review to gather teacher perceptions in order to determine themes district and building leaders can use to retain more teachers. The themes were: a) Creating a Positive Culture; b) Creating a Family Atmosphere; c) Autonomy; and d) Limiting Factors. The findings allow building and district leadership with implications for practice that will provide heightened satisfaction for teachers, which will keep them in the building and district and provide better support for learning to students.