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Results Chapter: An Explorative Inquiry of What Elements of Teachers Retention in the North Carolina

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Results

Retention of teachers, just like the retention of different employees in the business world, has been considered to be one of the biggest issues which affect the daily operations in education. Garcia (2017) linked the current high rate of teachers’ turnover to be caused by transforming the learning institutions from the social norms to the market norms through the introduction of different policies in the education sector such as standard based testing and the implementation of the performance-based pay. According to Geiger and Pivovarova (2018), increased focus on the policies which support the implementation and protection of the social norms in the schools may lead to the development of improved quality of education as well as reducing the rate of teaching staff turnover.

This research study was focused in determining the perceived enablers and obstacles for the retaining teachers in North Carolina. In this study, a semi-structured interview process was used in the collect the data. According to Geiger & Pivovarova (2018), semi-structured interview can be defined as a qualitative method used for inquiry which incorporate the pre-determined set of open questions with the opportunity for the researcher to explore different types of themes or responses developed by the interviewees. The advantage of this type of data collection method can be linked to its ability of enhancing the protection of the identity of the interviewees hence making it an ethically approved process. All of the interviewees were provided with the same set of research questions. This helped in eliminating the issues which might affect the quality of the data being collected due to biasness in research.

The eight questions used during the interview were meant to determine the different factors which influence the retention of teachers in North Carolina. The interview questions which used in this research were based on the Goleman’s theories of emotional intelligence, self-management, self-motivation, empathy and self-awareness in relation to the perception which the interviewees had after their experience as a teacher in North Carolina. The data were collected from those interviewees who are either currently teaching in one of the schools in the state of North Carolina or had previously taught in the same state, through a social network platform.

In relation to the data collection method, only one of the interviewees used the community flyer while the other four willingly contacted the researcher through their personal cell phones for the purpose of confirming that they wanted to part of this research as interviewees. The research data were collected from five participants who fulfilled all of the requirements for becoming a research interviewee in this study. The first question was meant to determine if the residents were currently teaching in North Carolina or had previously taught in this state. In responding to this question, it was determined that two of the interviewees were still teaching in North Carolina while the other three were no longer teaching in the state. Nevertheless, all of the interviewees were females.

The second question was structured in order to help the researcher determine the number of years spent by each interviewee in the state of North Carolina. Even though all of the interviewees were currently living in North Carolina for their professional purposes, every interviewee had specific number of years which they had spent. The interviewee number one had spent twelve years while interviewee number two spent two years among teachers. Additionally, the interviewee three, four and five indicated that they had been in the state of North Carolina for the last two, eight and four years respectively. This type of variation was necessary for the purpose of proving the diversity of interviewees.

The findings from the research study conducted by Garcia (2017) provided more information regarding the importance of the diversity of the interviewees in enhancing the production of research data which is of high quality. The development of the first two questions used in this study were important in enabling the researcher to create a rapport with the interviewee. The determination of the applicability of the Goleman’s theories in the evaluation of the rate of retention among the teachers in the state of North Carolina was achieved based on the structure of the questions three to eight which the interviewees were asked to answer.

Internal Motivation among Teachers

Table 1: Showing the themes that fall under the theory of internal motivation

Interviewee Internal Motivation Themes
#1 Low Salary
#2 Poor Working Environment
#3 Poor Leadership and Organizational Skills
#4 Forced State of Employment
#5 Leadership and Administration

The third question was developed in order to enable the researcher determine the theory of internal motivation in relation to retention of teachers in the state of North Carolina. The results from this section of the interview are contained in Table 1. In relation to this, the researcher asked the interviewees to give the possible reasons which prompted them to leave or stay in North Carolina for the number of years which they had previously indicated among teachers. Even though most of the responses provided by the interviewees did not support the applicability of the theme of internal motivation, the theme was to some extent demonstrated by response provided by interviewee number five. In the case of the other remaining interviewees (interviewee one to four), different factors such as low salary, poor working environment, and poor leadership and organizational skills for the case of interviewee one, two and three. In the case of interviewee number four, coming to North Carolina was a forced state of employment among teachers. The Goleman’s theory of internal motivation links the ability of individuals to perform an action or to behave in a particular manner with their respective ability to enjoy doing the same activity. Internal motivation should be from the positive side of the heart.

Self-Awareness among Teachers

Table 2: Showing the themes that fall under the theory of Self-Awareness

Interviewee Self-Awareness Themes
  Stressful Moments Enjoyable Moments
#1 Difficult economic situations Interacting with people from different background.
#2 Inadequate classroom resources Presence of rigorous PLC and RTI systems
#3 Difficulty in developing and implementing the new learning curriculum Healthy relationship with the students
#4 Unawareness to education regulation Teaching the students to advocate for themselves within their disability
#5 Promoting students without mastery Academic success of the students

Based on the structuring of the fourth interview question, the research was in need of determining the applicability of self-awareness as a factor that would facilitate the ability of the interviewees to be retained in their current teaching position. This question was meant to evaluate the specific areas in the teaching position that would make the teaching process stressful or enjoyable. The results collected from the interviewees indicated that all of them had a mixed reaction this issue. For that matter, they had both enjoyable and stressful experience from the state of North Carolina.

According to the interviewee number one, the most enjoyable thing was the ability to interact with people from different backgrounds while the stressful situation came from the difficult economic situations present in the state of North Carolina. With reference to the data collected from the second, third and fourth interviewees, the most stressful thing was the lack of resources for classroom, developing and implementing the new learning curriculum and the unawareness to regular education.

In the case of the fifth interviewee, the most stressful thing was linked to the ability of passing the students to be promoted to the next grade without mastering the concepts in the previous grades. In relation to the most enjoyable thing in their teaching career in the state of North Carolina, it was determined that the ability of North Carolina to have rigorous PLC and RTI systems, the healthy relationship with the students, teaching the students to advocate for themselves within their disability, and the eventual success of the students, played significant role in the case of interviewee two, three, four and five respectively. Therefore, it is important to note that the self-awareness played a positive role in the retention of the teaching staff in the state of North Carolina.

Self-Regulation among Teachers

Table 3: Showing the themes that fall under the theory of self-regulation

Interviewee Self-Regulation Themes During Stress Management
#1 Go for a walk, call up colleagues or talk to the spouse
#2 Discussing the problem with the colleague or the spouse
#3 Opting to visit a serene place such as the beach
#4 Directly face the source of stress for the purpose of making peace
#5 Venting process as well as talking to the colleagues

The fifth question of the interview was meant to determine the role played by self-regulation in the retention of the teaching staff in the state of North Carolina. This question was meant to determine how every interviewee would react when exposed to a stressful situation during their teaching career in the state of North Carolina. The data collected indicated that every interviewee had specific approach to employ during the occupational stress management among teachers. The first interviewee indicated that she would go for a walk, call up colleagues or talk to the spouse when stressed up. The second and third interviewees managed stressful situations by discussing the problem with the colleague or the spouse and opting to visit a serene place such as the beach respectively. In the case of the fourth and the fifth interviewees, stress management might be very difficult but still they could come up with different strategies for managing the situation.

Therefore, the forth interviewee chose to directly face the source of stress for the purpose of making peace while the fifth opted for the venting process as well as talking to the colleagues regarding the most appropriate measure that should be taken in order to make sure that the issue is resolved. Geiger & Pivovarova (2018) stated that the ability of an employee to effectively solve the stressing situations in the workplace depends on the type of the problem solving technique which is put into action. The ability of the interviewees to effectively use their self-reflective skills was determined using the data generated from the fifth question of the interview.

The presence of the internal motivating factors play significant role in the reduction of the employee turnover rates within a given workplace. In order to determine the factors which contributed to the development of internal motivation among the interviewees, the sixth question was asked. The question required the interviewees to evaluate themselves as educators and provide the key factors which keep them going in the teaching profession. The ability to expect something new and the introduction of change in the education system are the main factors which motivated the interviewee one. In the case of the second, the ability to introduce and implement technological changes and help the students to be successful in their academics are the main motivating factors.

The third and fourth interviewees associated their internal motivating factors with the ability to develop personal connection from the heart with the students, the presence of special education programs to help those students who have difficulties in reading respectively. The case of the fifth interviewee was evidenced by difficulty in developing the most appropriate loving environment that would make the teacher and the students to interact freely.

Nevertheless, the main factor which motivated the fifth interviewee to work as a teacher in the state of North Carolina was the ability of most of the students to recognize her as their mother due to the kind of love that existed between the teaching staff and the students. Even though the development of internal motivation is influenced by the available conditions in the workplace, it is always important for every employee to develop characteristics which would make them feel comfortable even if the conditions are not favorable (Geiger & Pivovarova, 2018). These factors which played important role in making the interviewees to remain focused in their teaching professional belong to the theme of internal motivation among teachers.

Empathy among Teachers

Table 4: Showing the themes that fall under the theory of empathy

Interviewee Empathy Themes in Relation to Supporting Colleagues
#1 Providing them with the required resources and emotional support
#2 Providing proper guidance
#3 Mentorship programs
#4 Providing them with the right information
#5 Sacrificing free time to guide the struggling teachers

The seventh question which was asked to the interviewees was meant to help the researcher determine the level of empathy presented by all of the interviewees based on their ability to help their colleagues in the workplace in case they have any problem which would require their assistance. The first interviewee admitted to provide significant help to the struggling teachers by providing them with the required resources and emotional support. The second, third and fourth interviewees helped their struggling colleagues by providing proper guidance, mentorship programs and providing them with the right information which would help them resolve their issues.

The data collected from the fifth interviewee provided information which identified her as a person who is often willing to help the other teachers who have issues in their teaching career by sacrificing free time, such as after school, to provide the struggling colleagues with the right information among teachers. This may include demonstrating to them how specific types of technology are operated. The applicability of theme of empathy within the teaching profession in the state of North Carolina was effectively demonstrated with regards to the information collected from all of the five interviewees. Even though every interviewee had specific approach for showing empathy, all of them were able to support the importance of empathy in the development of a healthy working condition in the teaching career.

Social Skills among Teachers

Table 5: Showing the themes that fall under the theory of social skills

Interviewee Empathy Themes in Relation to the Work Climate
#1 Very stressful and intense
#2 Sweet due to the presence of staff with diverse background
#3 Stressful working conditions due to increased workload
#4 Full of bias
#5 Increased rate of employee turnover

The eighth question was structured in order to help in the determination of the applicability of the social skills in the retention of teachers from the state of North Carolina. The question required the interviewees to provide their view regarding the climate at school where they were currently working or had previously worked. The first interviewee described the workplace climate in North Carolina to be very stressful and intense. The condition was facilitated by poor leadership at the school since the leader had never taught in a classroom and hence did not understand the requirements of the teachers. In relation to the data collected from the second interviewee, the conditions were very sweet due to the presence of staff with diverse background hence leading to the creation of connection amongst the teaching staff.

According to the third and fourth interviewees, the conditions were stressful due to the need of developing and implementing new curriculum within a limited time, and the conditions being biased due to the lack of proper representation of the people from various backgrounds respectively among teachers. The fifth interviewee described the climate in the school to be characterized by high rate of employee turnover. This might have been caused by the poor leadership which was demonstrated by those who were in the different leadership positions within the school.  The whole interviewing process, for all of the interviewees, ended successfully.

Summary

There are different factors which influence the rate of teachers’ retention in the state of North Carolina. These factors can be effectively described through the application of the Goleman’s theory of internal motivation, social skills, empathy, self-regulation and self-awareness. Based on the data from the interview conducted on the five interviewees, it is important to note that some of the most important factors that lead to the decreased rates of teachers’ retention in the state of North Carolina are poor leadership, inadequate resources that support the provision of the education services to the students as well as stressful working conditions as a result of increased workload that should be accomplished within a short period. Despite the fact that there are some teachers who might have spent many years while teaching in North Carolina, not a good percentage of the teachers are willing to continue teaching in this state due to the presence of unconducive working environment among teachers.

References

Garcia, A. (2017). Using the Jigsaw Method for Meaningful Learning to Enhance Learning and Rentention in an Educational Leadership Graduate School Course. Global Journal of Human-Social Science Research, 2(4), 145-153.

Geiger, T., & Pivovarova, M. (2018). The Effects of Working Conditions on Teacher Retention. Teachers and Teaching, 1-22.

This an example of results chapter written by our experts. For similar dissertation tasks based on your instructions, you can order from here.

Dr. Robertson Prime, Research Fellow
Dr. Robertson Prime, Research Fellow
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