Publication Date

Spring 2-7-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Andrea Disque

Second Advisor

Lori Sanchez


Teachers may become demoralized when they feel they are unable to access the moral rewards of teaching. Some moral rewards of teaching include building relationships with students, adjusting methods of instruction that impacts individual student growth, and completing a creative and engaging lesson plan. The purpose of this qualitative narrative inquiry was to explore the experiences of public middle school teachers with demoralization in the context of their teaching environments. Six participants who self-identified as demoralized completed semi-structured interviews over Zoom. These interviews were then restoried into narratives, then manually coded into themes. The themes that were developed included time and resources as a valuable commodity, the consequences of the nomadic life of a modern middle school teacher, and balancing policy, administration, community, and student needs. The participants in this study were looking for relatedness from their administrators with communication and trust. They felt they needed more time to be competent in their craft, and they struggled to find autonomy in their teaching practice. Recommendations for further action include all teachers starting in a new school district regardless of experience being given a mentor, new teachers receiving access to district specific information, and that teachers’ contracts be negotiated for more than one year. Administration should also consider allowing teachers to have autonomy to teach in a style that works best to them.


Ed.D. Dissertation

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