Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Van E. Cooley


The purpose of the study was to explore how the day-to-day experiences of teachers who are working mothers of young children shape their level of comfort and satisfaction with the dual role they live. This investigation also explored the dynamics of teacher retention by understanding the dilemmas female teachers with young families encounter. There is limited literature on working mothers who are high school teachers. There are many different issues this study examined to gain a better understanding of the complexities of the lives of women who are high school teachers while raising young children.

This study consisted of six individuals who are female, married, full-time high school teachers that also have at least one son or daughter between the ages of 2 months and 5 years. Participants were selected using purposeful sampling. Interviews were transcribed verbatim by the researcher and member checks were done to ensure validity. These transcripts were coded and themes surfaced as a result of the analysis. At least five of the six teachers were required to address a particular topic to label it an established theme and at least three of the six teachers were required to address a particular topic to be an emerging theme. If fewer than three teachers addressed a particular topic then the theme was non-existent. Interviews lasted approximately 50 minutes and locations varied. The average age of the participants was 36 and the average years teaching of the participants was 13. The ages of the children range from 15 months to 7 years.

Eight themes and three emerging themes were revealed. The eight established themes were: (1) trusted daycare, (2) self-fulfillment, (3) busy, (4) learn to be a better mother because of teaching, (5) guilt, (6) helpful husband, (7) supportive staff/administration, and (8) being a better teacher through parenting. All eight established themes are represented under the research questions. The three emergent themes discovered were: (1) organization, (2) utilizing a maid, and (3) poor feelings of staff and administration. Two of the themes are represented under the research questions. Utilizing a maid is not included under any research question.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access