Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Teachers at the local study site continue to leave the elementary school and profession at increasingly high rates creating a teacher shortage. The school staff consists of 33 teachers, with an average of 10 resigning each year. Because of the shortage, state and local school boards, school districts, and school-based administrators share the need to understand this phenomenon. Guided by Herzberg's 2-factor theory, which noted that people are motivated by attributes such as recognition and by Maslow's motivational theory, which refers to human needs and personal beliefs as motivational factors, this study investigated factors that contributed to teacher attrition and retention, as well as strategies used to improve retention of novice teachers. Nine novice teachers employed at the local site participated in e-mail interviews. Participants provided their perception of factors that influenced their decision to remain or stay in the profession. Data were analyzed with an emphasis on seeking emerged themes through the process of open coding. Data analysis revealed a gap in the level of support from mentors and administrators that affected novice teachers' professional growth, as well as their decision to leave or stay in the profession. Participants listed incentives, acknowledgment, and training as the primary strategies for retaining teachers. The findings led to the creation of a professional development program. This study contributes to positive social change by providing educators a deeper understanding of the problem of teacher attrition and by identifying strategies to manage teacher turnover to improve retention efforts.