Date of Award

Summer 7-14-2023

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)

Department

Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Miyoshi Juergensen

First Committee Member

Dr. Sheryl Croft

Second Committee Member

Dr. Chinasa Elue

Abstract

Abstract

This research study is a qualitative case study that sought to explore the perceptions of first-year teachers on the effectiveness of instructional support and the impact those supports had on their decision to remain in the classroom the following year. The study compared the various kinds of instructional support to the eight school organization characteristics that were the determinants for improving new teacher retention according to the review of the literature as well as aligning with the five levels of needs as presented in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The study included eight novice teachers in their first year of teaching in Title I schools within one learning community spanning kindergarten through twelfth grades and encompassing various disciplines. Four of the participants chose to remain in teaching while the other four participants chose to leave the profession. The researcher used a perception survey questionnaire, a 1:1 semi-structured interview, and a focus group for data collection. The data analysis was completed using a combination of a cloud-based application for organizing and analyzing research data and a research journal where some analysis was conducted by hand. The findings indicated that early career teachers in their first year of teaching are more likely to remain in their same positions within their same schools when they access and apply learning from the instructional support initiatives available throughout the year that promote personal and professional growth and well-being. Additionally, the findings revealed that when new teachers are able to establish meaningful relationships of mutual trust and respect with their school administrators, mentors, and instructional coaches, the new teachers feel both encouraged to continue and empowered to grow into the best educator for their students and for their schools. When the school organization characteristics are met and the various needs levels of the new teachers are satisfied, job satisfaction increases along with the new teachers’ desires to stay, thus improving new teacher retention. The study also recognizes that there are other factors beyond the control of the school or the school district that impact new teachers’ decisions to stay or leave.

Keywords: teacher retention, teacher attrition, teacher burnout, novice teacher, veteran teacher,

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