Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Hering, Erica


Teacher turnover is a major issue in the U.S. education system because teachers are leaving the profession at astounding rates (Castro, Quinn, Fuller, & Barnes, 2018; Garcia & Weiss, 2019). Teacher turnover disproportionately impacts schools with higher numbers of students from predominantly low socioeconomic status backgrounds (Castro et al., 2018; Garcia & Weiss, 2019). Exploring gratitude, a positive psychology practice, may provide insight into attrition and teachers’ well-being. The intent of this study was to explore the potential contribution gratitude may have as a tool to help teachers develop resilience in light of the complex and dynamic issues in education. Given the importance of schools’ poverty levels in relation to differences in students’ academic needs, teachers’ levels of experience and credentialing, and the working conditions in schools, poverty levels of the school should be taken into consideration when evaluating teachers’ well-being (Ávalos & Valenzuela, 2016; Danhier, 2016; Troy et al., 2017). This study explored differences in teachers’ self-reported levels of gratitude between high-poverty and low-poverty schools and relationships between demographic variables and gratitude levels. No significant difference was found in teachers’ self-reported levels of gratitude between high-poverty and low-poverty schools. However, data indicated a significant positive relationship with gratitude for female teachers, a significant, negative relationship for black/African American teachers, and a significant, negative relationship for teachers who intend to leave within three years for reasons other than promotion or retirement. Additional research to learn more about the relationships between teachers’ well-being and the schools’ poverty level is needed.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation