Factors that influence teachers certified as administrators to remain in teaching in Connecticut

Date of Completion

January 2006


Education, Administration




There is growing concern in education regarding the shortage of qualified candidates applying for school administrative positions. This shortage is coming at a time when there is increasing pressure to reform schools with emphasis on the role of the leader in impacting that reform. In spite of the shortage of applicants, there are a seemingly adequate number of educators possessing administrator certification in Connecticut. Yet, districts report an inadequate pool of qualified applicants for administrative openings. Recent surveys of current administrators cite inadequate salary in relation to role responsibilities and stress as the main deterrent for teachers who have administrative credentials choosing to not pursue administrator positions. ^ The purpose of this study was to learn from the potential aspirants themselves their motives for the decision to pursue administrator positions or to return to the classroom. The uniqueness of this study lies in the attempt to understand, not only the external factors, such as salary, but also, the internal factors, such as, commitment to teaching, achievement motivation, and impact of career stage, from the perspective of the potential aspirant. ^ For this qualitative study, eight newly certified administrators were interviewed that represent a sample that includes those who chose to remain in teaching and also those who are pursuing, or have obtained, an administrative position. Interview questions were open-ended questions developed to reflect the constructs of commitment to teaching, achievement motivation, and career stage. The responses serve to illuminate the influence of the constructs on the decisions of these two groups of potential aspirants. ^ The results of this study indicate that job satisfaction impacts the commitment to teaching such that those with high job satisfaction remain in teaching. Monotony was a factor for those leaving teaching. Persuasion and encouragement, along with connectedness, strongly influence career goals, including the pursuit of administrative roles. The cohort model of administrator training was attributed with providing peer group connectedness. ^