School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Michelle B. Goodwin

Primary Subject Area

Education, Administration; Education, Elementary; Education, Secondary


Job Satisfaction, Leadership, Principals, Retention, Teachers


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


This study addresses the challenge principals face in retaining highly qualified and effective teachers in their schools. Although efforts to recruit new teachers have proven successful, teachers are leaving education at alarming rates, especially in the first four years of their careers. The purpose of this study was to identify what school principals can do to increase teachers' job satisfaction and retention. To do so, 12 veteran teachers from four schools were interviewed from February to April 2009. The participants answered questions concerning their levels of job satisfaction, their perceptions of their principals' leadership styles, and their reasons for continuing to teach. The data revealed that principals can increase teachers' job satisfaction and retention rates by encouraging positive and respectful relationships among teachers and their students and among the faculty, staff, and administration; treating teachers as professionals and providing them with opportunities for professional growth; providing teachers with positive feedback; being accessible and listening to teachers; establishing high expectations for student achievement and teacher performance; and supporting the efforts of teachers. This data will increase principals' awareness about what leadership styles and practices can increase the job satisfaction of their teachers and help them retain highly qualified and effective teachers in their schools.