Date of Award



© 2020 Sidney Crudup II

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Heather Wilmot

Second Advisor

Darren Akerman

Third Advisor

Audrey Brown


This phenomenological research study was conducted at one inner-city elementary school in a Central Florida district. The intent of this research was to examine the lived experiences of certified elementary-level inner-city teachers who had experienced stress and burnout while dealing with continuing disruptive student behavior in their classroom. The study addressed three research questions: (a) What perceptions do inner-city, elementary-level teachers have regarding the role of student behavior and teacher stress and burnout? (b) How do inner-city, elementary-level teachers perceive the ways in which student behavior contributes to teacher stress and burnout? (c) How do inner-city, elementary-level teachers perceive the ways in which teacher efficacy can be improved to reduce teacher stress and burnout?

The conceptual frameworks of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Tajfel and Turner’s theory of social identity, and Lazarus and Folkman’s theory on stress and coping guided this research. Individual interviews were conducted with six participants. During the interview process, participants were asked to reflect on their experiences of teaching in a disruptive, elementary classroom environment. After data collection was complete, data were hand-coded and analyzed.

The data from the interviews uncovered key findings. Five themes that emerged were the perceptions of: (1) professional esteem, (2) disruptive student behavior, (3) stress and coping, (4) administrative support, and (5) student learning. The results of the research showed that across all six participants, the most prevalent finding in the data was the lack of value shown to participants by administration. The data also showed that disruptive student behavior and the lack of administrative support contributed to the decline of the participants’ professional esteem.

Recommendations include actions for administrators to develop standard practices to increase teacher value, and to develop better strategies to reduce teacher stress. Recommendations also include unexplored areas for further research, such as emphasis being placed on the aspect of teacher stress that involves administrative oversight and indifference or classroom management strategies that address chronic disruptive student behavior.


Ed.D. Dissertation