An Examination of a Teacher Enhancement Leadership System Model for Teacher Retention in an Urban Public School System

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Title: An Examination of a Teacher Enhancement Leadership System Model for Teacher Retention in an Urban Public School System
Author: Cochran, Alice Beth
Advisors: Dr. Peter Hessling, Committee Member
Dr. Carol Pope, Committee Member
Dr. Paul Bitting, Committee Member
Dr. Ken Brinson, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine a Teacher Enhancement Leadership System Model that Wake County Public Schools has designed to attract and retain talented teachers. The primary research questions were, "What influences a teacher's choice to stay in the teaching profession?" and "How can Wake County Public School's Teacher Enhancement Leadership System Model address the teacher retention issue?" Nine broad categories of concern emerge from the literature when teachers are asked why they are leaving teaching: 1) classroom management; 2) lack of preparation; 3) school reform; 4) isolation; 5) induction programs; 6) school culture; 7) principal's role; 8) lack of teacher leadership and 9) money. Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with nine teachers and one principal from six different schools in Wake County. The schools chosen were based on the six schools with the lowest teacher turnover during the 2003-2004 school year. Four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school were represented The major findings about what influences a teacher to stay in the teaching profession were: 1) abundance of paperwork; 2) heavy workload; 3) lack of time to reflect; 4) increased demands of students; 5) amount of teacher empowerment; 6) quality of teacher education programs; 7) purposeful hiring; 8) number of new initiatives; 9) lack of communication; 10) changes in family life; 11) low salaries; 12) lack of recognition; 13) lack of resources and 14) support of administrators. All of the teachers and principal interviewed felt that the TELS Model 1) gives teachers opportunities for advancement other than moving into administration; 2) recognizes teacher leaders by providing money and time to do these jobs; 3) complements the National Board Certification; 4) embeds time into the school day to reflect; 5) recognizes teachers as professionals; 6) rewards teaching excellence; 7) encourages teachers to proceed in their profession and 8) creates a climate of professionalism.
Date: 2006-05-10
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Educational Administration and Supervision

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