Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Joe Bullis

Abstract

This dissertation was designed to investigate the causes behind teacher turnover and the connection between principal behavior, teacher working conditions, and rates of teacher turnover. In particular, this study examined behaviors that teachers in three North Carolina middle schools felt their principals displayed that helped encourage them to continue teaching in their current schools. Teachers in three middle schools, one from each geographical region of the state, completed an online survey. Also, the researcher visited each middle school and interviewed the three principals and their supervisors to collect additional data concerning positive teacher working conditions and reduced rates of turnover. The data generated from middle school teachers who participated in this study indicated there were specific behaviors that positively impacted teacher working conditions and encouraged them to continue teaching in their current schools. Based on the data analysis, several suggestions for principals are included to help them improve teacher working conditions and reduce turnover in their schools. Principals should try to establish meaningful relationships with their teachers. Principals should behave ethically and refrain from showing favoritism. Also, principals should show their support of teachers. Principals should also try to create an atmosphere of cooperation and collegiality within their schools.