Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Shereeza Mohammed


AbstractPrincipal support is critical in promoting teacher retention, which has continued to be a challenge in elementary schools in the United States. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to ascertain how principals described their strategies for retaining teachers at elementary schools in a large, urban-suburban school district in the Eastern United States. The conceptual framework was based on Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory and transformational leadership theory. The research questions addressed challenges, supports, and leadership practices principals identified that increased teacher retention in the elementary school setting. Semistructured interviews were conducted with eight elementary school principals who had at least 3 years of experience. A combination of a priori and open coding was used to support thematic analyses. Key themes included (a) intentional recognition of teachers’ essential needs; (b) building teacher capacity through identifying and addressing individual needs; (c) communicating clearly to provide a shared understanding; and (d) creating an environment of collaboration, open communication, and teamwork. Key findings indicated that principals should focus on building trusting relationships, providing clear and consistent communication, differentiating supports for new teachers and for tenured teachers, acting honestly, building rapport, and enhancing teamwork/collaboration to create specific teacher retention strategies in the elementary school setting. Recommendations included preparation and ongoing professional development for school leaders so elementary school principals can apply the specific strategies to increase teachers’ job satisfaction, and thus, cultivating positive social change through teacher retention. Principals will be able to offer equity to students by staffing every classroom with quality teachers.