Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Henning, Mary Beth

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Biographies; Retirees--Education; Teacher turnover; Teachers--Supply and demand


The purpose of the study was to examine a retired teacher's reflections on career, professional, and personal influences which contributed to her retention in teaching. This study was guided by the research question: How have career, professional, and personal influences contributed to one teacher's retention? This was explored through a biography of her teaching career and an analysis of the revealed factors using Herzberg's Motivator-Hygiene Theory. Motivators/satisfiers are factors intrinsic to the job itself. The following satisfiers emerged: the work itself (including creativity, classroom management, curriculum, challenge, intellectual stimulation, interpersonal relationships, joy, a sense of purpose, altruism), achievement, growth (including teacher preparation, support and mentoring, and the opportunity to learn), responsibility (including change agent, professional development of others, and committees), and recognition. For a 37-year retired veteran, satisfaction of these factors fulfilled personal needs and may have contributed to her own self-actualization and retention in teaching to retirement. Hygiene/dissatisfying factors are extrinsic to the job itself and included administration and policy, working conditions (including school facilities, safety, time and workload, facilities available for doing the work, and support for professional development), and factors in personal life (including demographics, family, and health). For the award-winning teacher in this biography, these factors represented various degrees of dissatisfaction, but did not appreciably contribute to her decision to remain in teaching to retirement. Suggestions for teachers, administrators and future research were provided. An emphasis was placed on nurturing intrinsic factors to encourage excellent teachers to stay, while recognizing that more research is needed to fully understand the relationships between motivators, hygiene factors, student achievement, and excellence in teaching.


Advisors: Mary Beth Henning.||Committee members: William Pitney; Elizabeth Wilkins.


242 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type