Hurst, Michelle Andrea (2018-11). Mid-career Teachers' Motivation to Teaching and Their Growth in Their Profession. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Similar to most careers, a teacher follows a career cycle: struggling in the beginning, as an expert in mid-career, and finally reaching end career. The mid-career teacher can be a school and district's greatest asset; however, they can also fall into a mid-career slump with little room for professional growth and waning on intrinsic motivation. Through this mixed methods study, I will explore the mid-career teachers' motivation to teaching and their growth in the profession. I will employ three research instruments to collect data: a Teacher Motivation Assessment Scale (TMAS) designed and validated earlier; a semi-structured interview protocol designed by the researcher; and a checklist to document the participants' motivation and growth. Teacher instructional rounds designed to improve mid-career teachers' motivation and growth were offered on one campus over a semester. Mid-career teachers participating in the teacher instructional rounds were compared before and after the rounds. The surveys showed statistically significant differences overall, but did decrease in some categories. These categories aligned with data obtained through the interview and self-checklist in terms of commitment and interest. Teachers were interviewed throughout the semester and all expressed positive attitudes in observing other teachers. Mid-career teachers also filled out a self-checklist of evidence for growth and motivation. Participants on average had more items reported on the checklist, but were lacking in areas of learning from peers and setting goals. The data showed patterns and needs in the mid-career educators that can help the educator, administrators and in the planning of professional development.

publication date

  • November 2018