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I Hate Wrestling, but I Go to Wrestling: Exploring Teachers’ Decisions to Stay in Rural Nebraska Public Schools

Nick Mumm, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the lived experiences of rural Nebraska teachers to understand why they have remained in the classroom. This study, conducted through the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, parallels a study of urban educators. Using narrative inquiry, six teachers were selected from rural Nebraska school districts who have been teaching for at least one year. As teacher shortages are increasing, this study explores teachers who remain in the profession and why they continue to stay in the profession. In comparing the rural and urban educators’ common themes for remaining in the profession were evident. Relationships with both students and colleagues, impact on students’ lives, and various extrinsic motivations were repeatedly discussed by study participants. The educators also shared the Frustrations they faced. including the lack of leadership support, lack of communication, and the time spent beyond their contracted workday. By using narrative inquiry, the teachers interviewed had the opportunity to explain their lived experiences in depth. The experiences shared by the participants provide a clearer picture to school leaders in Nebraska, teacher training programs at universities and colleges, and outside entities in order to provide support for future teachers.

Subject Area

Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Mumm, Nick, "I Hate Wrestling, but I Go to Wrestling: Exploring Teachers’ Decisions to Stay in Rural Nebraska Public Schools" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI29256541.