Date of Successful Defense
Date Degree Awarded
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Eddie K. Baumann Ph.D.
teacher retention, low-income, diverse, migrant, low socioeconomic status
This qualitative ethnographic study explores the background characteristics and motivations of nine long-standing teachers in the small migrant community of Immokalee, Florida. Each teacher participated in a standard open-ended interview consisting of 55 questions. Common background characteristics exist among the teachers. The teachers are life-long learners, embrace challenges, possess a familiarity with their school context, and interestingly the majority of the teachers pursued another profession before becoming an educator. All the teachers communicated their love for the students and community of Immokalee, however, four dissatisfying factors emerged throughout the interview process these include: insufficient time, the negative perception directed towards Immokalee, standardized testing, and difficulty communicating with parents who have limited education and English language skills. Despite these obstacles, seven themes of endurance seem to contribute to these educators’ ability to perseverance as a teacher in Immokalee. These include: the desire to make a difference, working in a supportive school environment, personal faith, establishing a boundary between work and school, keeping bureaucracies on the outskirts of their job, viewing students as individuals and maintaining a positive relationship with parents. Administrators should consider the findings of this study when hiring individuals to fill vacant teaching positions in low-income high diversity settings such as Immokalee.
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Buehler, Ashley M., "Teacher Retention in the Low-Income Diverse Community of Immokalee, Florida" (2013). Master of Education Research Theses. 63.