Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Karin Lewis

Second Advisor

Dr. Jacqueline Koonce

Third Advisor

Dr. Sandra Musanti


Generation Z teachers have encountered pivotal events in their lives that have empowered them into becoming change agents in society. They have entered the classrooms during a time of great change in education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing teacher shortages in schools. Generation Z teachers have had to adapt to the changes in education and endure the challenges of transitioning back to face-to-face instruction. As school districts prepare for the post-pandemic era, it is important to capture the lived experiences of Latinx Generation Z secondary teachers to understand the motivation and retention factors that influence their decision to remain in the classroom.

This qualitative phenomenological study explores three Latinx Generation Z secondary teachers’ from the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. Through semi-structured interviews, rich descriptions of the teachers’ experiences, motivations, and retention factors are discovered. To retain and motivate the newest generational cohort of teachers, in a multigenerational workforce, district leaders may want to consider reevaluating their frameworks to increase motivation and teacher retention in the school districts. The findings reveal how important it is for district leaders to recognize the Generation Z teachers’ efforts, provide them with strong support systems and mentorships, and create a campus culture of compassion and empathy.


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