Teacher Commitment: An Exploration in the Decision to Stay in the Secondary English Language Arts Classroom




Stortz, Rebecca Joy

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In response to the often overwhelming challenges in the education field today, teachers are leaving the classroom at a worrying rate, resulting in instability for students, schools, and communities at large. Addressing this current crisis of teacher turnover, the purpose of this study was to provide insight into the factors surrounding teacher commitment, delineating how some teachers overcome these challenges and stay in the classroom. Taking an integrated phenomenological approach, this study used focus groups, individual interviews, and reflective writings to explore the personal characteristics and social networks of seven veteran English language arts teachers. The study employed two theoretical frameworks, teacher identity theory and social network theory, to analyze how the participants' commitment to the classroom was developed and sustained. Using a constant-comparative methodology, the study found six themes surrounding teacher commitment, with topics related to: personality traits, experiences, continued learning, interpersonal relationships, school climates, and satisfaction.


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English Language Arts, Social Networks, Teacher Attrition, Teacher Commitment, Teacher Identity



Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching