Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Danny Stedman


Many teachers have seen the role of an educator gradually change in the last decade. Some have considered leaving their chosen careers due to low morale, low pay, and the constant adoption of education initiatives that do not work. Many teachers have stated the reason they have remained in education is due to the intrinsic rewards such as making a difference in the life of a student and the love or enjoyment education provides. This study sought to determine factors that impact retention of teachers in a rural, low-performing school district in northeastern North Carolina that serves high populations of children of poverty. The criteria used to select the rural school district for this study were based on the high percentages of minority students, families living below the poverty line, students eligible for free and reduced meals, and low student achievement on standardized tests. The literature on teacher retention in rural, low-performing, high-poverty school districts is sparse. Much of that research literature does not address specific challenges of retaining teachers in rural areas serving at-risk students with low student achievement. There is little to no research that addresses why teachers are interested in rural education or remain teaching in rural school districts (Boylan & McSwan, 1998; Davis, 2002). Discovering what factors contribute to teacher retention in high-poverty schools may be especially important (Marston, 2014). This qualitative study includes a review of related literature to job satisfaction and a discussion of Herzberg’s Two-Factor Motivation Theory.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.