Due to the many challenges that teachers face in today’s classrooms to facilitate the academic success of all children and to meet federal and state accountability standards, having both the competence and the ability to adjust to meet these challenges are required. Teacher retention is an ongoing issue in the United States; teachers who lack these traits may have a negative impact on teacher retention. Resiliency is a critical element that teachers need to meet these challenges and remain in the education profession. In this study, the stories of four female African American teachers who taught in the same school district in a rural community in the South before, during, and after desegregation, were examined. Using qualitative methodology and a narrative inquiry technique, the data analyzed from the stories of the four women confirmed eight themes of resilience as identified in Polidore’s Theory of Adult Resilience in Education (2004). An additional resilience theme, efficacy, also emerged. The additional theme provided an enhanced conceptualization and construct of Polidore’s Theory of Adult Resilience in Education model. With the massive challenges facing educators today, the stories of the four teachers can be used to empower, encourage and retain teachers in the education profession .


Resilience, African American Teachers, Teacher Retention, Efficacy

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