Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jerry D. Collins


The problem investigated in this study was the high turnover rates of experienced, quality, and highly effective middle school teachers, which has a negative effect on student learning and achievement. The purpose of this qualitative study was to discover what specific support and professional development middle school teachers need to remain teaching. The conceptual framework that grounded this study was Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation. The research questions explored what experienced middle school teachers need in terms of support and professional development in order to improve their job satisfaction and increase their retention. Nine teachers, one from each middle school in the district, were interviewed by phone or through a face-to-face format. After first-round initial coding and second-round pattern coding, it was determined that teachers need (a) to be valued by their administrators, (b) supported by their colleagues, (c) professional development with meaningful content, (d) professional development that honors their experience, and (e) professional development that is collaborative. This study promotes positive social change by offering specific ways to support and provide useful professional development to middle school teachers, which in turn will increase job satisfaction and foster their retention. Such retention will increase student achievement, improve the overall school environment, and create stability in the surrounding community.