Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


Richard Conley


I recently conducted fieldwork to explore the dynamics of teacher migration and understand how it relates to teachers’ perceptions and attitudes. The research was conducted through the eyes of a sixth grade language arts/social studies’ teacher working in a middle school I will refer to as PLC (Professional Learning Community) Middle School. By spending extensive time and conducting multiple interviews with the teacher and other staff members, I was able to explore some of the reasons and conditions why teachers leave schools, particularly high-performing schools to teach in other high performing schools. Attending weekly meetings at all levels and content areas with migrating teachers, combined with interviews and document collection, allowed me to further understand the gap that exists between what a high-performing school professes to be and how it actually is perceived by its own teachers. This gap is what proves to be disconcerting and frustrating for teachers who are satisfied with teaching but consider relocation to meet further personal and professional challenges.