Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hare, R. Dwight

Committee Member

Olinzock, Anthony

Committee Member

Sewell, Beth

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

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


A teacher shortage is a recognized problem in research on public schools. Schools across the United States must hire and retain highly qualified teachers, but the literature indicates teachers with fewer than 3 years of experience are often leaving teaching, creating a possible teacher shortage of 4.2 million teachers by the year of 2016. Retaining teachers with less than 3 years of experience is a definite problem in the Little Municipal School District (LMSD). In response to the failure of the LMSD to retain teachers with less experience, a study was conducted to identify the variables effecting teacher turnover. Determining the reasons teachers leave LMSD and facing those issues can assist in addressing the conditions associated with teacher turnover. This study focused on variables teachers with 3 or fewer years of experience indicate as their reasons for leaving. These variables were compared to studies conducted by Veenman (1988), Ganser (1994), and Ingersoll (2003), leading authorities on teacher retention. The results of this research suggest that teachers with less experience are leaving the LMSD because of pressure to achieve higher state test scores, lack of motivated students, insufficient materials and supplies, heavy teaching loads, inadequate guidance and support, poor relations with principals and administrators, lack of classroom discipline, and the burden of clerical work. Recommendations for LMSD include adding four programs to the district: a district-wide mentoring program for less experienced teachers; a teacher–liaison to improve communications between new teachers and administrators; a yearly review of materials to keep classroom materials current; and an incentive program for students to motivate students to achieve. Recommendations for further research include more studies on why teachers remain in low turnover districts, and did teacher’s preparation (alternative vs. traditional) affect retention.