Section archive - Beginning Teachers
Page 2/29 288 items
Are you positive that you’re positive?: The downside to maintaining positivity as a first-year teacher
This year-long qualitative study follows a new teacher, who had self-identified as a ‘positive person’, through her first year in the classroom to explore the ways in which she maintained that disposition in the face of the difficulties that the work of teaching entails. Using a lens of emotion states and traits, we catalogued several different strategies this teacher used to return to her ‘positive’ emotion trait. A close examination of the data through I-Poems revealed that the very strategies she used were a type of avoidance from situations that produced uncomfortable emotion states. This avoidance contributed to a false sense of positivity, a dissonant between the teacher’s reported experiences and her perceived sense of self, gradually leading to burnout. The focus on maintaining her desired emotion trait distracted from the need to process her emotional experiences to improve her practice. Implications for teaching and teacher education are discussed.
Updated: Mar. 29, 2022
Coping with emotionally challenging expectations: Japanese beginning teachers and their relationships with students’ parents’
This article examines emotionally challenging expectations in the relationships beginning teachers have with students’ parents. The data consist of narrative interviews with 17 Japanese beginning teachers. Due to strong cultural and social norms prescribing appropriate social interactions, Japanese teachers have little leeway in negotiating parents’ expectations. The authors found that beginning teachers described facing three emotionally challenging expectations in their relationships with students’ parents: 1) they do not fully understand what is expected of them; 2) they are expected to turn to colleagues for help with difficult issues involving parents; and 3) they are expected to endure and learn from criticism. To cope with these emotionally challenging expectations, beginning teachers perform emotional labour. The article presents a wider understanding of teachers’ work as a relational practice and offers insights that can be used to move beyond the discourse that frames beginning teachers from a ‘deficit’ perspective.
Updated: Mar. 15, 2022
When performativity meets agency: how early career teachers struggle to reconcile competing agendas to become ‘quality’ teachers
Early career teachers are increasingly required to be ‘classroom ready’ upon graduation and to demonstrate capabilities that match their more experienced colleagues. They are also joining a profession that is characterised by increased scrutiny and accountability driven by standards that seek to identify the hallmarks of good teaching. This agenda, constructed around a discourse of ‘quality’, has created dilemmas for early career teachers. However, little is known about how early career teachers navigate these pressures as they begin their careers. This article reports on a study that sought high-achieving graduate teachers’ perceptions of teacher quality and how they assessed their own practices within a ‘quality’ framework. The study found that high-achieving early career teachers wrestle with their perceptions of what a ‘good’ teacher might be and do, and how this contrasts with official representations of a ‘quality teacher’, and that they frequently ‘govern’ themselves using the regulations and discourses related to ‘the quality teacher’. The authors argue that broader conceptualisations of teacher quality are needed to enable early career teachers to develop as agentic professionals.
Updated: Mar. 14, 2022
This mixed methods study investigates novice teacher and coach survey responses from a two-year induction programme to learn more about what makes a good match. The authors qualitatively analyse comments from all novice teachers and coaches who were paired across years and find shared themes of structural, professional, and personality similarities as well as the importance of coaching support prominent throughout novice teacher responses. They also use logistic regression to indicate that novice teachers’ ratings of coaching skills and coaches’ beliefs about the induction programme fitting within vertical professional development were positive and significant predictors of perceptions of being well matched. Findings have implications for induction programmes on how to match their coaches with novice teachers to enhance teacher development.
Updated: Mar. 02, 2022
Comparing motivations of pre-service and beginning teachers in China: impact of culture and experience
The study examines beginning teachers’ and pre-service teachers’ motivation to teach in China. Data are drawn from questionnaires completed by 107 beginning teachers (full-time teachers with fewer than six years’ working experience) and 122 pre-service teachers, and semi-structured interviews with 19 of them. The respondents all emphasised social influences, personal utility value, and social utility value, and all viewed the teaching profession as a career high in demands but low in returns. However, pre-service teachers showed higher motivation than beginning teachers, except for items regarding intrinsic value, fall-back careers, and teaching ability. This study suggests a ‘culture-motivation’ framework for understanding teachers’ motivation in China.
Updated: Feb. 17, 2022
This mixed-methods study explores the experiences and influence of induction on novice teachers. The authors quantitatively analyze survey data from over two thousand novice teachers and a thousand of their coaches through statistical comparisons and multiple linear regression analyses to explore whether structures of induction are associated with how teachers learn and develop in their pedagogy. Qualitative analyses of respondents’ open-ended responses guided by word cluster formations indicate a positive feeling about this induction program but revealed differing areas of focus between novice teachers and their coaches. Results indicate the importance of coaches, curriculum, and the learning management system in creating positive induction experiences. Findings from this study have implications for the influence and structural design of induction programs for novice teacher development.
Updated: Feb. 08, 2022
‘A validation of my pedagogy’: how subject discipline practice supports early career teachers’ identities and perceptions of retention
For secondary school teachers, developing a teacher identity is complicated by spoken or implied expectations of the need to be an expert in the skills and knowledge of one’s subject discipline. Since 2009, the Teacher as Practitioner study (N = 764) has explored the effect of continued subject discipline practice on teachers’ identity and retention using a longitudinal mixed-method design. Within the population are 305 responses from initial teacher education graduates classified as early career teachers, those within their first five years of teaching. This sub-sample was used to explore relationships between discipline practice, identity and perceptions of retention in the profession. Analysis of quantitative data showed time spent engaged in practice had a greater effect on expectations of retention and identity than simply aspiring to maintain a discipline practice, while qualitative analysis showed maintaining a practice in a supportive community was also highly valued.
Updated: Feb. 08, 2022
Entering, Staying, Shifting, Leaving, and Sometimes Returning: A Descriptive Analysis of the Career Trajectories of Two Cohorts of Alternatively Certified Mathematics Teachers
This article examines the career trajectories of recent college graduates and career changers who became mathematics teachers in hard-to-staff schools through New York City Teaching Fellows (NYCTF). The goal is to understand the main patterns in their careers before, during, and after teaching. The study provides a portrait of the career trajectories and decision-making of more than 600 NYCTF mathematics teachers over a nine-year period. The study incorporates survey and retention data collected as part of a longitudinal research project on NYCTF mathematics teachers. The analysis of the teachers’ career trajectories is illuminated by descriptive statistics and qualitative analyses of teachers’ open-ended survey responses. The article deepens our understanding of teachers’ career decision-making as it unfolds over time. For example, it documents that the leavers emphasized different reasons for leaving NYC public schools, depending on when they left. The study also challenges conventional understandings of teacher turnover by finding consequential amounts of midyear and involuntary turnover and by demonstrating the stochastic nature of some teachers’ trajectories. It further shows that, although in many ways similar, the career trajectories of the career changers and recent college graduates differed in key regards; for example, although the career changers seem to have had greater trouble adjusting to teaching, they were more likely to remain in the district a decade after entry than the recent graduates. The discussion focuses on the implications of the study for recruitment and retention strategies that can ameliorate pressing teacher turnover and shortage issues. It posits that, given the high rates of turnover among NYCTF mathematics teachers, recruitment strategies focused on recruiting high-achieving recent graduates and professional career changers will not solve long-standing teacher turnover issues in districts such as NYC public schools. As such, districts need to focus on retention strategies. These would include, for example, training and induction tailored to meet the different needs and career goals of career changers and recent graduates.
Updated: Jan. 29, 2022
This article explores the experiences of six nonbinary preservice teachers of diverse gender expression and racial and class backgrounds. Each was enrolled or had recently completed teacher training in North America when the study was conducted in 2018. This qualitative study employed in-depth, phenomenological interviews to prompt participants to reconstruct rich narratives about their experiences as educators. This article uses Sara Ahmed’s concept of the “willful subject” to consider how participants negotiated the relationship between their gender identities as non-binary people and their nascent professional identities as teachers. These beginning teachers expressed concern about succeeding in their teacher education programs and worried about how others perceived them because of the expectation of normative gender implicit in teaching’s professional norms. This expectation was enforced by the profession’s gatekeepers more than by K–12 students and their families, who participants generally described as hospitable or indifferent to having a non-binary teacher. If the profession is to genuinely welcome gender diversity, it must do more than protect trans and gender nonconforming teachers from discrimination and harassment: It must also recognize and work to deconstruct its own gender normativity.
Updated: Jan. 25, 2022
Early career teachers continue to flee the profession in many countries around the world. In a series of their own studies, the authors have attempted to better understand the intentions of early career teachers. In this paper, they build on themes that emerged in a 2015 study, published in Teaching Education, with 40 second- and third-year teachers, and interviewed 15 more second- and third-year teachers from another Canadian province. Using a semi-structured interview procedure with a method of thematic analysis, the same 2015 themes emerged in the new study with the exception of two original themes: It’s the kids; and An opportunity for relief: Relational support. Both new themes highlighted relational aspects of sustainability and turned us to the notion of relational agency. The authors draw on the conception of relational agency to inquire into how early career teachers might establish a capacity to align their thoughts and actions with others on the professional knowledge landscape. They then pose questions surrounding how relational agency helps teacher educators, administrators, and teac
Updated: Jan. 05, 2022