Date of Award

Spring 1-15-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Michael Kuchar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jan Furman, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Ligia Alberto, Ed.D.


Teacher Retention, Teacher Resiliency, Personality Traits, Urban Education, Teacher turnover, Conscientiousness


This study examined the challenge of teacher attrition in urban school settings. Currently, there is a gap in the literature that addresses the type of teacher most likely to stay in the profession past the 5-year mark, particularly in urban districts. Using personality theory and resilience theory as the theoretical framework, this study explored the influence of select personality traits and resilience on teacher retention in an urban school district. This study sought to identify whether conscientiousness and emotional stability influence teacher retention past the 5-year mark. This study also sought to identify whether resilience influences teacher retention past the 5-year mark.

A case study design was selected to explore the phenomenon of teachers who have demonstrated longevity by providing 5 or more years of service teaching in a select urban district in Northern New Jersey. A total of 20 volunteer participants were selected to take part in a confidential semi-structured interview that lasted approximately 45 minutes and included a self-rating scale on both personality traits and their perception of how (if at all) resilience played a part in their longevity as an urban educator. Upon completion of the interviews, the data was analyzed using four types of coding for the first cycle: emotion coding, in-vivo coding, value coding, and descriptive coding. Second cycle coding was done utilizing pattern code analysis.

This study revealed that teacher resilience is crucial to teacher retention past the 5-year mark. Current literature indicates that two personality traits, emotional stability and conscientiousness, are indicators of employee retention in the general workplace. The findings of this study demonstrated that while emotional stability and conscientiousness do not influence teacher retention in an urban setting, resiliency does have an influence on teacher retention in an urban setting. The findings in this study also suggested that teachers do consider themselves resilient and believe resiliency to be a prerequisite to teaching in an urban school district.