Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Scot Headley, PhD

Second Advisor

Karen Buchanan, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Susanna Thornhill, PhD


This qualitative, narrative inquiry explored how second-career teachers constructed their new professional identity as a teacher. Through personal, in-depth interviews, the study analyzed how each participant constructed their professional identity. Four common themes were found among the participants in how they constructed their professional identity: professional identity shaped by identity as a parent, professional identity as shaped by personal identity, professional identity as shaped by prior professional skills and experiences, and professional identity as shaped by social context. In addition to these themes, each participant had unique ways in which they constructed their professional identity as at teacher which did not fall into one of the themes. Their unique experiences were an important aspect of how they understood their constructed identity as a teacher. The participants were in their first or second-year of teaching, they were still constructing their understanding of their teacher identity. The study formed a snapshot of the development of their identity as a teacher during their first or second-year of teaching. The results of this study point toward a need for further research into how second-career teachers construct their new professional identity as a teacher. Second-career teachers, teacher education programs, school districts, and teaching teams would benefit from learning more about this process to better support this unique population as they enter the teaching field.