The interviews were conducted using a semi-structure interview guide based on teacher retention issues and lasted around 45 minutes in length on average.
Currently all interviews have taken place with both the lead (10 interviews) and assistant preschool teachers (10 interviews). The interviews have not yet been transcribed nor have they been qualitatively assessed. Additionally, the demographics of the interviewees have not yet been assessed.
However, all preschool teachers were women and were either African-American or White. All of the interviewees spoke English as their native language. The teachers ranged in experience from being in their first few months of teaching preschool to over 15 years of experience. About half of the teachers were under 30 and the other half were over 30 years of age. About half of the teachers were married, while the other half were single. Nearly all of those interviewed stated that they either planned to stay in the field of early childhood for more than five years or for their whole career. Educational levels were asked, but the data hasn’t been looked at yet.
What this demographic data may imply is that the randomization process was effective, since there was a diverse group of ages, marital status, and race (since there are no teachers who do not speak English and only a couple of teachers who are Hispanic or male who work in the entire company, it would be highly unlikely that these teachers would be interviewed). Also, this data shows that the employees want to be in the early childhood field, as opposed to simply taking a position because of their need for a job. However, they don’t have to stay working for Head Start, and so understanding why they would leave that organization for another early childhood agency is extremely important for a number of reasons listed in earlier blogs.