Lived experiences and their impact on new teacher attrition





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This qualitative study was designed to examine the lived experiences new teachers bring to their teaching careers with the intent to add to the existing body of knowledge surrounding our nation's high new teacher attrition rates within the first five years of teaching. The six research participants were licensed grades 7-12 Secondary Social Studies teachers who had completed their teacher training together in 1999. My research framework was rooted in the possible impact life experiences may or may not have on an individual's life decisions and actions, as presented by Geertee Hofstede in her book, Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. This study looks at the possible factors that motivate, influence or both motivate and influence new teachers' decisions to stay or leave their secondary teaching careers within the first five years after receiving their secondary teaching license. Capturing pre-service teachers' lived experiences provides teacher educators with two valuable tools. One is an assessment tool that teacher educators can use to better assist and equip these non-tenured individuals with the skills necessary to cope with and understand how their history impacts their teaching practices within the educational community. The other is a means for placement into the right class environment for student teaching and entering the difficult first year of teaching.

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