Date of Conferral
Increasing levels of teacher attrition in special education within Bahamian public schools are preventing students with learning disabilities from achieving their learning goals within inclusive classroom settings. Addressing factors that influence attrition is vital to enhance the quality of education and the efficacy of educators while supporting positive social change. The purpose of this general qualitative study was to ascertain why Bahamian educators leave special education. This was achieved by exploring the influencing factors that have incited the decisions of public special education teachers within The Bahamas to resign or request premature retirement from the teaching profession, as well as how job satisfaction influences teacher retention within The Bahamas' public education system. Twelve Bahamian public educators (8 former special educators, 3 current reading specialists, and 1 current resource teacher) from a major city were randomly selected to participate in semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed via open coding. Job satisfaction, social cognitive, and social cognitive career theories were used as a lens through which to understand educators' career decisions. Findings revealed that Bahamian educators leave special education due to (a) lack of specialized training, (b) lack of administrative support, and (c) burnout. Contrary to existing literature, findings revealed that poor student behavior does not significantly influence attrition among educators, and a love for children does not significantly motivate teachers to remain. Mentoring and induction programs were cited as ineffective means of teacher retention. Educators are more likely to stay when they feel valued, appreciated, supported, and respected by administrators, colleagues, and parents.