School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Michelle Goodwin

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Administration


Collegiality, Job Satisfaction, Principal, School Climate, Student Behavior, Teacher


A qualitative phenomenological research design was chosen to examine the perceptions of teachers concerning experiences that negatively influence teachers' job satisfaction in rural Title I schools in Georgia. Twelve middle school teachers from three Georgia school districts were interviewed. Pilot interviews and follow-up interviews were also held. Interview data was coded, codes were examined for redundancy and codes were collapsed into broad themes. Major themes related to teacher dissatisfaction included negative relationships with administrators and problems with student behavior. Major themes related to teacher satisfaction included positive relationships with colleagues, working with students, and a sense of efficacy. Problems with student behavior, initial misconceptions concerning teaching, and a sense of isolation were identified by participants as factors that increase the difficulty of teaching. Due to job dissatisfaction related to the teacher-administrator relationship and problems with student behavior, several participants indicated that they would leave their current position for a comparable job outside of education. Participant responses supported Frederick Herzberg's two-factor theory on worker satisfaction, Abraham Maslow and Clayton Alderfer's theories related to the categorization of human needs, and theories on human motivation proposed by Jeremy Bentham and Victor Vroom. Additional theoretical implications along with applications for educational leaders are also delineated in the study.