Tensions in Beginning Teachers’ Professional Identity Development, Accompanying Feelings and Coping Strategies

Aug. 01, 2013

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 36, Issue 3, 2013, pages 240-260.

This paper examined tensions encountered by 182 beginning teachers during their professional identity development.
The article also explored the feelings that accompanied these tensions and the ways they tried to cope with these.
Professional identity tensions stem from an unbalanced personal and professional side of (becoming) a teacher.

The findings reveal that tensions that are often mentioned by beginning teachers concerned conflicts between what they desire and what is possible in reality.
Female teachers reported more tensions than their male colleagues, while final-year student teachers did not differ from first-year in-practice teachers in the number of tensions they experienced.
Tensions were often accompanied by feelings of helplessness, anger or an awareness of shortcomings.
Most beginning teachers tried to cope with their tensions by speaking to their significant others or by searching for a solution themselves.

Updated: Jan. 20, 2015