Title

The Principal's Role In Teacher Retention

Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Ronald A. Styron, Jr.

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

As efforts are made to identify factors contributing to teachers leaving or staying in the teaching profession, teacher retention continues to pose a challenge for school administrators. Factors such as principal behaviors, principal leadership, school climate/teacher morale, professional development opportunities, and teacher mentoring programs seem to positively impact teachers' decisions to remain in the profession. The purpose of this study was to gather data to determine whether principal behaviors, principal leadership, school climate/teacher morale, professional development opportunities, and teacher mentoring programs affect teacher retention. A questionnaire, adapted from the Mecklenburg Citizens for Public Education (formally Charlotte Advocates for Education) research report entitled: Role of Principal Leadership in Increasing Teacher Retention: Creating a Supportive Environment (including the Principal study questionnaire), asked demographic questions and responses regarding the effectiveness of strategies principals use. Data was collected from 60 principals in south Mississippi public schools. The Principal Survey included 8 sections: General information (demographics), Strategies for Principal Behaviors: Working Environment Factors, Principal Leadership: Understanding Your Environment, Strategies for Instructional Principal Leadership, Strategies for School Climate/Teacher Morale, Strategies for Professional Development, Strategies for New Teachers, and Instructional Leadership. The Instructional Leadership Section asked principals to estimate the percentage of time they spend in the roles of instructional leader and school manager versus the amount of time Central Office would deem appropriate. The final demographic information asked principals in which role (instructional leader or school manager) do they feel most comfortable and most effective. There was no statistically significant relationship found between principal behaviors, principal leadership, school climate/teacher morale, professional development opportunities, teacher mentoring programs and teacher retention. An examination of the effects of strategies for principal leadership (understanding the environment) to school climate/teacher morale should be further studied in an effort to specifically identify these as factors of teacher retention.