An exploration of women elementary school teachers' perceptions of how their decision to return to teaching part-time from a maternity leave influences their professional and personal lives /
Woodland, Amy M.
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The purpose of this research was to explore women elementary teachers' perceptions of how their decision to return to teaching part-time from a maternity leave influences their professional and personal lives. The investigation focused on the decisions surrounding a mother's choice to reenter the teaching profession parttime in a field where each mother had previously been employed full-time. A collective case study was undertaken based on an in-depth interview with five mothers who had made the choice to return to the classroom part-time. The data collected in this study were analyzed and interpreted using qualitative methods. The following four major themes emerged from the interviews: decisionmaking process, challenges faced by mothers who teach part-time, the importance of support, and the enhancement of instructional practice from parenthood. Using these four themes, an analysis was conducted to examine the similarities and differences among the experiences of the participants. The mothers' reflections, my analysis, and the related literature were used at the conclusion of this report to compile implications for teaching practice, theory, and further research.