Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


The purpose of this narrative qualitative study was to explore the motivation of teachers who enter the teaching profession and stay in the profession in a high-poverty, diverse, Title I school. This study involved interviews with a small sample of elementary teachers and included the use of personal self-reflections. Through purposive and snowball sampling, the researcher selected six licensed, elementary teachers from a school in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Each of these participants had more than three years of teaching experience in the identified setting. Through interviews with and reflective journal entries from each participant, this researcher explored three areas of interest: (1) participants' original motivations to teach, (2) participants' motivations for choosing to teach in a high-poverty, diverse, Title I school, and (3) the participants' motivations to stay in their current teaching positions within this school setting. The themes that emerged from the participants regarding their motivations to teach included personal quality of life, personal fulfillment, and relationships with mentors. Next, half the participants described choosing to teach in a high-poverty, diverse, Title I school, while the other half stated that the school chose them. Finally, participants described several factors that influenced them to stay within the profession, including personal quality of life, making a difference, relationships with colleagues, and relationships with families and students.

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