This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Agriculture Teacher Longevity




Harrell, Catherine M.

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Curriculum and Teaching


Agriculture Education teachers are leaving the profession at an astounding pace. Being over worked, loss of family and personal time, stress & burnout, feeling of being underpaid are some of the hardships that contribute to this ongoing problem. I felt that conducting interviews with former Agriculture teachers who had completely left the profession would help me gather the information that would be needed to determine the exact causes of why this is continually happening. Researching the exact causes of why the teachers have left may lead to ways that can be implemented for helping retain Agriculture Education teachers. Focusing on Job satisfaction, how can this research help teachers feel more appreciated in our profession? How can the FFA & POW requirements help the teacher more by making some changes to the standards? How can we help administration and counselors be more knowledgeable about what all the Agriculture teacher does on a daily basis? How can stress and burnout for the Agriculture teacher be changed so that there is not as much stress on the teacher? The purpose of this study was to identify the main factors that cause Agriculture Education teachers to leave the profession. To achieve this purpose six objectives guided this research. I wanted to identify the factors that influenced former Agriculture Education teachers in Georgia to enter the profession. Determine why former Agriculture Education teachers in Georgia felt the need to leave the profession. Determine the roll of administration and oversite played on the decision to leave. Determine the roll SAE, FFA, and how the Georgia Agriculture Education program of work played on the decision to leave. Determine the rolls that parents and students played on teacher’s decision to leave. Determine what former teachers believe would have needed to change for them to be able to stay or return to the classroom. I recorded all of the interviews on Zoom and had them transcribed, followed by coding, and using a step-by-step approach to the constant comparative model to analyze data. Findings were more and more of the same as teachers missed their personal and family time. Many expressed how they wished some things would change on the POW for the betterment of their stressful lives. I found that it seemed they all had the drive and best of intentions of staying in the profession until retirement, but they could not outlast the factors that the stress and burnout placed on them. Without down time in any profession you soon become burned out from many factors and end up wondering what you ever loved about it in the beginning.