Should I Stay or Should I Go? Understanding Teacher Motivation, Job Satisfaction, and Perceptions of Retention among Arizona Teachers

Craig A. Mertler


This study attempted to describe the current status of teacher motivation, job satisfaction, and retention among teachers in the state of Arizona. All PK-12 public and charter school teachers in Arizona were asked to respond to a web-based survey, which included items about their overall job satisfaction, the motivational levels of various school-and non-school-based factors and performance incentives. Finally, they were asked a series of questions regarding their perceptions of teacher retention, including whether or not they had ever seriously considered leaving the profession and ratings of various conditions that would cause them to leave the profession, as well as those which would attract them to stay. Usable survey responses were received from 9,053 teachers. Results included an overall job dissatisfaction rate of 26%, and several significant job satisfaction differences among demographic groups. Also presented are rankings of teacher ratings of the motivational levels for 18 job factors, 11 performance incentives, as well as reasons for leaving the teaching profession, and enticements for remaining in the profession. The discussion includes suggestions for the implementation of recognition-based programs for teachers in schools and districts.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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