Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership and Policies

Sub-Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Jeffries, Rhonda

Abstract

The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) To determine if teachers who chose to be a mentor to a first year teacher were more satisfied with their job than those who chose not to be a mentor and 2) To identify if common themes emerged among mentors indicating job satisfaction as that which sustains their desire to remain in the profession. A survey previously developed and tested by Perrachione, Rosser, and Petersen (2008) entitled Elementary Teachers' Perceptions of Job Satisfaction and Retention was distributed to 192 secondary teachers (grades 6 - 12) within Lexington County School District One in South Carolina with 116 secondary teachers' partially responding and 113 completely responding (58.9 % response rate).

The research used a mixed design, quantitative-qualitative, using a causal comparative quasi-experimental design. Both quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from the online survey statistically analyzing rates of job satisfaction as that might have affected perceptions on job retention. Results indicated that there was not a statically significant difference in job satisfaction between the two subgroups surveyed (mentor teachers and non-mentor teachers). There were statistical differences with the mentor sample rating more positively the effects of salary as compared with how non-mentor participants rated the effects of salary. There was a statistical difference in the two subgroups intentions to remain in the profession of education.

The findings also revealed that extrinsic motivators such as salary and intrinsic motivators such as leader recognition are related to teacher's job retention at a significant level. No significant relationship was found in any of the demographic areas to job satisfaction and retention. Common themes from open-ended questions emerged to indicate that a large percentage of teachers in both groups remain in teaching because of their desire to work with students, passion for teaching, and retirement options.

Additional research should examine if/how student achievement is related to a teacher's job satisfaction, if effective mentoring practices are related to job satisfaction and retention and if performance pay models would benefit teachers' perceptions of their job related to job retention. Dissertation chair: Rhonda Jeffries, Ph.D.

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