A case study of teacher retention at one urban school district
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Teacher attrition is a major topic of discussion and concern in this country. With the growth in the school-age population, the need to attract and retain quality teachers will become even greater. The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to explore factors that influenced teachersÂ decisions to remain in an urban school. A qualitative research design was used by conducting one interview with 13 teachers in an intermediate school (5th & 6th grades) in an urban school district near Houston, Texas. The participantsÂ years of experience in this study ranged from 5-33 years. They presented a diverse range of age, career experiences, and cultural/ethnic backgrounds. Data were collected through audio-taped interviews that lasted 45-90 minutes conducted in their classrooms before or after school. Additional follow-up questions and clarification statements were obtained from the participants where it was warranted. The transcribed interviews and the follow-up questions were analyzed using the Labov method of structuring narratives into stories. This method was used in order to compare participantsÂ narratives to identify emergentthemes among the rich stories that the participants shared with me. The findings are presented as three emerging themes on why teachers choose to remain in an urban school. These themes were recurrent and dominant throughout the narratives. Participants generally felt that there were three main reasons why they remained to teach in this urban school. Those three reasons manifested themselves in the form of themes. Those three dominant themes were: (a) making a difference in the lives of young people, (b) having no reason to leave, and (c) having administrative support, which was the leading factor that influenced teachers to remain in an urban school. Each theme had several supporting themes that were explored also. Implications for practice and recommendations for further study were also discussed.
Blanson, Archie L (0001). A case study of teacher retention at one urban school district. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from