The Lived Experience of Novice Teachers Who Chose to Return to Their Middle School for Their Second Year During COVID-19 Pandemic

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Summer 2022


Between 40 and 50% of teachers will leave the profession within their first five years of teaching (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003). Factors such as teacher preparation, high stakes testing, mentoring support, student outcomes, monetary incentives, and administration play roles in this problem. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed traditional practices overnight, placing additional unexpected demands on teachers (Kim & Ashbury, 2020). The purpose of this research was to gain an understanding of factors involved in teacher retention, and by taking a narrative inquiry approach to this phenomenon, gain an in-depth understanding of the factors that led to novice teachers choosing to return for a second year. The findings demonstrated that novice teachers did not have a paradigm with which to compare teaching outside of the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, veteran teachers experienced greater difficulties coping with the pandemic than novice teachers. Nonetheless, novice teachers did experience stress which was mitigated by mentoring, support, and other experiences that have proven essential to the success of novice teachers. Many teachers chose to return because of the relationships they established on campus, the support from their administration, and their love of the students they taught.


Teresa Farler

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