Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Teacher turnover is a critical issue for the public education community because it influences student performance, school climate, and employee morale. In a large urban school district in the northeastern United States, the turnover rate has been high; teacher morale is low, and teacher participation in the school community is lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of novice teachers about factors that influence their job satisfaction and their future employment. Guided by Maslow's theory of motivation-which is characterized by motivational needs that drive individuals to improved performance-this study examined the perceptions of novice teachers about job retention. The research questions focused on teachers' perceptions about factors that could influence their decision to continue or leave their teaching positions. A case study design was used to capture the insights of 8 participants using semistructured interviews, reflective journals, and a focus group. Eight emergent themes were identified from the data through open coding; they involved performance affirmations, administrator and resource support, and professional development. The findings were validated through triangulation and member checking. According to the results, novice teachers sought to collaborate in a professional learning community and to expand their professional development opportunities. Hence, a project was designed to engage teachers and administrators in initiating and sustaining professional learning communities. This study may promote positive social change by increasing employee morale, staff cohesiveness, teachers' effectiveness and reducing teacher attrition rates among novice teachers.