Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


John Pijanowski

Committee Member

Kara Lasater

Second Committee Member

Marcia Smith


Attrition;Leadership;Principal;Retention;School Culture


The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on teacher attrition in Arkansas, with many educators facing unprecedented challenges and stressors in their work. However, public data does not give context to why teachers chose to leave. This study aimed to investigate teacher perceptions of the impact of the pandemic on attrition in Arkansas through a survey. To do this, the study set out to determine what factors influenced Arkansas teachers to leave or consider leaving, their positions and the impact that the pandemic had on those choices, and what factors influenced, or could influence, teachers to stay in their position. A survey was distributed to teachers on social media and via email. The survey asked demographic questions, whether the participant left or considered leaving their position, asked participants to select the reasons they did so, then asked them to rate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on each reason. Finally, participants were invited to give an open response about what could have influenced them to stay in their role. Overall, 19.6% of teachers moved from their role in some capacity. Additionally, 66.5% of teachers considered leaving their position. The top reasons cited were challenges in class support (hybrid instruction, remote instruction, in-person instruction, resources), school bureaucracy, pay, and leadership. COVID-19 affected reasons related to instruction, safety, health concerns, and resources. Teachers said they would most likely stay with support from their administration, higher pay, and lower demands and stress. Lowering stress through supportive classrooms and positive leadership could mitigate teacher attrition in Arkansas in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.