Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terrence A. Tollefson

Committee Members

Nancy McMurray, Jasmine R. Renner, Elizabeth Ralston


Teachers all over the country are leaving the profession at an alarming rate and by understanding the attitudes and perceptions of both first- and second-career teachers as well as novice and veteran teachers on various areas of teaching, we can begin to identify better and more specific ways to mentor and support all teachers regardless of their age, stage, and life experiences when they enter the profession.

The population of the study was limited to 677 kindergarten- through eighth-grade teachers in Sevier County, Tennessee.

The study revealed that whether a teacher is novice, veteran, first-career, or second-career, there is no difference in their perceptions concerning the teaching career, no difference in their perceptions regarding the various aspects and challenges of teaching and no difference in their perceptions of how teachers are perceived by colleagues. One difference was found, indicating that novice and veteran teachers have a different perception of their mentoring experiences, with novice teachers rating their mentoring experiences as more positive than veteran teachers.

The majority of teachers participating in the study was happy with their chosen career and would encourage others to enter the field. Findings indicated they shared ideas with colleagues and were willing to share in return. Most said that they felt they made a difference in their students’ lives. Student behavior and time were issues of concern to the teachers in the study. Some teachers pointed out that they sometimes were not able to teach because of a student's behavior and that recent problems in society and at home have made this issue worse. Some said the paperwork associated with teaching was overwhelming, and they had difficulty completing the necessary tasks outside of instruction within a normal school day. In spite of the problems, the majority of educators said they would do it all over again.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.