This phenomenological study examined the teaching experiences of veteran special education teachers (SETs) and why they chose to remain in a special education teaching setting. Guided by Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems framework, veteran SETs were interviewed and asked to describe the experiences and situations that have influenced their decision to remain in special education. Three themes and two sub-categories emerged as their motivation for persevering: (A) a calling from above, (B) standing up for the underdog, (b) personally committed to my kids, my babies, (C) beating the bushes with the apathetic, (c) against my ethical judgment. Specific information related to these themes is reported with implications for hiring practices of special education teachers and future special education teacher retention/attrition research.
International Journal of Education and Human Developments
Center for Global Research Development
New York, New York
College of Education
Lesh, J, Shatz, K, Harris-Looby, J., & Roberts, C. (2017). Why stay? A phenomenological look at special education teacher retention. International Journal of Education and Human Developments, 3(2), 12-24.