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Michael Stephen Slaven. The Perceptions of Teachers in Rural Title I Middle Schools Concerning the Experiences That Negatively Influence Job Satisfaction (Under the direction of Michelle Goodwin, Ed.D.) School of Education, July, 2011.

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.




The decision to enter the teaching profession is encouraged by a belief that being a teacher will, at least partially, meet one’s career expectations. Beginning educators, similar to other professionals, hold certain preconceived ideas concerning the individual satisfaction that will result from their career as they perform the day-to-day duties of a teacher. When the teaching experience fails to meet these expectations, job satisfaction may be diminished. These experiences may vary depending on such variables as student characteristics, the relationship between the administration and the staff, and the nature of collegiality among teachers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the types of teacher experiences that are related to teacher satisfaction and dissatisfaction in the context of rural Title I schools in Georgia. By gaining a better understanding of these experiences, the educational community can create and adopt policies that will avert the detrimental outcomes of teacher dissatisfaction, including teacher underperformance as well as teacher migration and attrition (Ingersoll, 2001; Perrachione, Petersen, & Rosser, 2008). While warnings of teacher shortages have, in the past, been used as campaign “fodder” for political candidates and have resulted in strong recruitment efforts among states and local school districts (Merrow, 1999), migration and attrition of high performing teachers remain a problem and can have a negative impact on the learning environment. The following section of commentary from a survey of teachers conducted by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (2008) provides an accurate summation of the importance of studying the satisfaction aspect of the teaching experience: ...Get Complete Material.

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