Influences Contributing to the Longevity of Experienced Teachers in the Elementary, Middle, and High School Settings




Beasley, Theresa A.

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The purpose of this study was to identify factors that contribute to teachers' career longevity. The study gives voice to nine experienced teachers to help understand the challenges these teachers faced, the satisfaction they obtained, and the opportunities that allowed them to remain at one school for ten years or more. I use the lenses of social cognitive theory and theory of loyalty to guide this study that explores why some experienced teachers choose to remain in teaching for extended periods of time. Taken together, these theories offer explanations of the internal and external influences contributing to teacher longevity. This study relied primarily on in-depth interview data from experienced teachers. A survey provided demographic data and findings relating to the perceived collective efficacy of the faculty at each of the three inner-ring suburban schools. This collective case study yielded cross-case themes common to the nine cases, which include: personal values, collegial relationships with peers, interactions with students, voice in decision-making, and positive working environment. Knowledge gained from this study provides an understanding of the complexities that experienced teachers face and the factors that lead them to their decisions to remain in their schools. The findings of this study may provide guidance for educational decision-makers when implementing measures to improve retention rates of highly qualified experienced teachers.



Education, Educational administration, Teacher education, Education, Experienced teachers, Personal values, Teacher longevity, Teacher retention