Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2013 Spencer L. Jones. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Cheryl Jones-Walker


This thesis explores the sustainability of the teaching profession by examining teachers’ professional identities and goals and their work conditions. The author concludes that most teachers, while committed to their classrooms, cannot remain teachers in public schools for many years because there are too many structural conditions that compromise their morale and energy. The author further explores teachers’ visions for their careers—primarily opportunities for professional community and collaboration and teacher leadership. Stronger professional communities and more access and opportunities for teacher leadership in the realms of curriculum development, professional development, assessment, and teacher evaluation will benefit schools and student achievement. Implementing these visions of professional community will also better prepare white teachers to serve the needs of minority students.