The purpose of this study is to investigate the personal and organizational factors leading to career frustration and exit of a veteran physical educator. The Teacher Career Cycle Model provided the theoretical framework and guided the data analysis. Data sources included observations, field notes, and multiple interviews with the teacher, the school principal, a physical education colleague, and a fifth grade classroom teacher colleague. Data were analyzed inductively according to Huberman and Miles’ four-stage process. Findings indicated that four factors contributed to the shift from the enthusiastic and growing stage to the career frustration stage: (a) difficult relationship with her principal, (b) preferential treatment of a non-teaching colleague, (c) messages of marginality, and (d) declining motivation. Findings support previous literature regarding the impact of the school administrator on teachers’ working environments. Future research is needed for improved understanding of the physical education teacher/principal relationship.
Key words: Teacher career cycle, veteran teacher, qualitative research, case study.