Career Change: A phenomenological study of former military members and their transition into teaching
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This study explored the experiences of former active duty personnel who transitioned to the civilian workforce as school-teachers after a career in the military. The qualitative methodology employed was a phenomenological approach. Six former U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force participants, were interviewed using purposive sampling procedures. Data collection included in-depth, face-to-face semi-structured interviews, as well as written responses by the participants using a Preliminary Survey. This study answered four research questions: 1. What factors motivate former military members to enter teaching?; 2. What support systems currently exist to assist former military members’ transition into teaching?; 3. What are the life experiences of former military members that may impact the transition to teaching as a second career?; and 4. What keeps former military members in the teaching profession? Data was transcribed and analyzed using the MAXQDA qualitative software and a manual cross cutting theme procedure. The research in this area contribute to the gap in the body of knowledge on the challenges that career-changers face. This study focuses on the difficulties encountered by military retirees in their first year or two as school teachers.