Date of Award

Fall 9-26-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Martin J. Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David C. Flocco, Ed.D.

Committee Member

David B. Reid, Ph.D.

Keywords

faculty orientation, independent schools, faculty mentoring, onboarding, teacher induction

Abstract

As job dissatisfaction continues to be a lead cause of teacher turnover (Brill & McCartney, 2008; Moore, 2012; Smith & Ingersoll, 2004) in both the public and private sectors of education, a deeper understanding of what contributes to the dissatisfaction of the profession is warranted. While several factors influence overall job satisfaction or a lack thereof, the implementation of induction and mentoring programs in education has shown, in particular, an increase in overall teacher retention, especially of teachers new to the profession (Brill & McCartney, 2008; Humphrey, Wechsler, Bosetti, Park, & Tiffany-Morales, 2008; Kelley, 2004; Smith & Ingersoll, 2004; Tak Cheung, 2014).

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of newly-hired faculty members in four independent schools’ induction programs, regardless of the years of teaching experience they had. Specifically, this study aimed to evaluate if the schools’ induction programs influenced faculty members’ overall job satisfaction in their decision to return to their respective school for a second year of service or not. Four independent schools in the greater Washington, D.C. area agreed to participate in this study, with participation from 23 administrators and faculty members total from across schools. Among the 23 total participants, six participants were administrators of the induction programs and 17 participants were faculty members in their first year of service to their employing school.

Through the application of document review and semi-structured interviews, six similarities across the schools’ induction programs emerged, in addition to the emergence of seven themes across participant responses. The findings showed that, although the induction programs themselves did not necessarily contribute to faculty members’ overall job satisfaction, a positive school culture in conjunction with the opportunities to build relationships with colleagues did influence overall job satisfaction. However, these contributions to job satisfaction could not be separated from general school contexts and were not synonymous with the induction program itself. The last chapter of the study offers several recommendations for schools as well as recommendations for future research.

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