Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Marty A. Bullis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jerry McGuire, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Monica Nagy, Ed.D.


The human experience occupies the central role in phenomenological research. In this interpretive phenomenological study, the researcher recruited and interviewed secondary school teachers from three public urban schools in the Pacific Northwest in order to have them describe their lived experiences that relate to instructing students affected by homelessness. The researcher used two semi-structured, conversational interviews with six participants who reflected on how their classroom experiences influenced their teaching, engagement strategies, emotional states, and student relationships. The conceptual framework for this study included: Homelessness in America, public school setting, impact of homelessness, and teacher perspective. In this study, the researcher identified gaps in pre-service teacher programs with regard to support the marginalized population of students affected by the homeless experience. The essence of the lived experience of the participants’ in this study is centered around a teachers’ drive to seek introspective reflection and gain knowledge, along with building positive relationships with their students, which leads to increasing engagement strategies with all students, including those affected with homelessness. Based on discovering the essence of the lived experience of educators who work with homeless adolescents in a public school, the researcher has begun to fill in the missing gap of literature and potentially assist educators to be more effective in supporting this marginalized population of students.