Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Williams, Frankie K.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

McMullan, Leigh Ann

Committee Member

Moyen, Eric A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


Background: For decades, teacher shortages brought concern in educational systems throughout the United States. As more classrooms were left without teachers, prior researchers focused on strategies and policies to address the problem of teacher turnover and attrition. States such as Wisconsin had fewer qualified candidates to fill positions and saw a 35% decrease in teacher education programs in the past decade. Purpose: This study sought to examine how the induction process was related to teacher attrition for experienced or veteran teachers (five or more years of experience). In addition, the study sought to determine factors that contributed to professional satisfaction or dissatisfaction as related to teaching longevity. By examining these components collectively and including conversations with current teachers, the researcher presented a holistic view of why veteran teachers make the decision to leave the profession. Setting: Northeastern Wisconsin public school districts serving populations from kindergarten through 12th grades in urban, suburban and rural locations. Subjects: The participants were five veteran teachers with five or more years of experience who left the profession before retirement. Research Design: Qualitative phenomenological study Data Collection and Analysis: The participants were interviewed about their induction processes, professional satisfaction and professional dissatisfaction during their teaching careers. The data were analyzed for commonalities and emergent themes among the shared teaching experiences of the participants to determine the reasons they left the profession. Findings: Common themes were identified through the participants’ interviews. The findings showed the induction process for veteran teachers did not meet the needs of these participants. Further, professional satisfaction during their teaching careers were related to intrinsic motivating factors such as improving and aiding in student academic achievement, collegial support, and “making a difference.” The findings indicated the former teachers’ professional dissatisfaction stemmed from challenging behaviors, lack of support, overwhelming responsibilities, monetary deficiencies, and lack of respect for the profession. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that veteran teachers leave the profession as a result of a combination of challenges during their teaching assignments. The study also uncovered that the participants of this study contemplated their decisions to leave their positions years before actually departing the profession.