How millennial teachers perceive their principals: Will they stay or will they leave?

Matthew Paul Melchiorre, Fordham University


Teacher turnover is a crisis in America costing schools billions of dollars and creating inconsistent learning environments for students. Most new teachers leave within their first three years. Many teachers are from the so-called Millennial generation. Much has been written about this generation, most of it based on an accepted Millennial profile and the need to adjust the workplace to meet their needs. Little to no research has been conducted to test this. This study examined the Millennial profile as it related to teacher’s perceived relationships with their principals and the effect on their intention to stay in or leave their current position. A group of urban teachers took a survey that measured their exhibition of Millennial traits, perceived relationship with their principals, intent to stay or leave, and the reasons why. Findings indicate that Millennial teachers do not fit a type and the quality of the relationship that a teacher has with a principal is a greater predictor of turnover intention than any other factor. The lack of opportunity for achievement was the single greatest reason why teachers will leave, however, neither the profession nor teachers themselves can define what that opportunity looks like. If the field of education is going to reduce teacher turnover, it must focus on teacher/principal relationships and better define and examine what opportunities will convince teachers—not just Millennials—to stay.

Subject Area

Educational sociology|Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Melchiorre, Matthew Paul, "How millennial teachers perceive their principals: Will they stay or will they leave?" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10000738.