Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Coaxum, James

Committee Member 1

Cross, George

Committee Member 2

Meredith-Brown, Corine


Autoethnography, Transformation, Transition, Urban Education


Urban schools; Teachers; Self-evaluation


Teacher Education and Professional Development


The purpose of this study was to examine the critical career transitions that transformed who I am on both personal and professional levels during my fifteen-year teaching career as an urban educator. This autoethnographic research approach systematically analyzed and described personal experiences within the broader cultural context (Ellis, Adams, & Bochner, 2010), utilizing Scholssberg's (1995) Transition Theory, as an analytical framework. I found that engaging in this autoethnographic study increased my awareness of the situations, self, support, and strategies (Schlossberg, 1995) impacting the career transitions I navigated throughout my career. I also found that this narrative examination fostered a deeper understanding of the hidden forces that have influenced and motivated decisions I have made throughout my career and transformed who I am on various levels. The challenges I faced during my transitions may be unique, however, numerous teachers regularly cope with similar complexities teaching in urban districts. Yet, these challenges often go undocumented because teachers are often so deeply engaged in the responsibilities of the moment that they rarely have time to conduct scholarly analysis and subsequent articulation of their experiences (Zembylas & Papanastasiou, 2006). By documenting my career transitions and transformations, I have added to the collective storehouse of shared knowledge and wisdom as a reference to researchers and other educators transitioning through similar transformations.