Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




JoeAnn Hinrichs


In an urban school district in North Texas, there was a problem retaining highly qualified novice teachers. This phenomenological study examined the experiences of novice teachers to understand why some teachers demonstrated the resiliency to succeed as professional educators and to suggest potential solutions to improve novice teacher retention. Guided by Henderson and Milstein's theory of resilience, 8 novice teachers with 2-5 years of teaching experience participated in semi structured interviews. Research questions elicited the experiences that empowered novice teacher resiliency, the perceived role of administrators and colleagues to cultivate and build capacity, and recommendations to promote resiliency. Data analyses included an inductive thematic coding process to separate the data and identify themes. According to study findings, novice teachers' support from instructional specialists and colleagues contributed to their resiliency and retention. Participants indicated that a university education alone did not prepare them for the realities of teaching in at-risk learning communities. The participants suggested differentiated professional development to address the challenges of teaching in at-risk schools. A Comprehensive Professional Development Plan was created to address the gap in novice teacher resiliency and retention and to improve instructional practices to meet the needs of novice teachers and to provide a stable and responsive learning community for students to achieve social, emotional, and academic success. This study has the potential to produce positive social change by building capacity, resiliency, and retention through a long-term comprehensive professional development plan for inducting novice teachers.