Source: Teaching Education, Volume 27, Issue 4, Pages 343-370, 2016
This study aimed to explore the professional challenges and concerns of 30 second career teachers (SCTs) participating in an alternative fast-track induction program during their first year of teaching. Additionally, the study investigated their perspectives of the institutional support provided to them.
The main source of data was online case study discussions and reflective journals which were analyzed qualitatively through content analysis.
The results suggest that the challenges and concerns of SCTs trained through a fast-track program are essentially not dissimilar from novice teachers trained in traditional programs. Even though SCTs entered the profession with extensive life and work experience, they seemed to perceive the same mismatch experienced by other first-year teachers between what they had expected and what they actually encountered. Their main challenges and concerns centered on: classroom teaching, teacher–student relations, the extensive workload, and their emotional involvement.
Nevertheless, these SCTs demonstrated the ability to apply strategies acquired in their previous professions to cope with the professional challenges they had encountered in the school context.
Drawing on transition theory proposed by Schlossberg, the process of transition into the teaching profession was explored. Applying Schlossberg’s model, the professional concerns and the types of strategies used by SCTs to cope with the various challenges were identified. This theory also provided the framework for understanding the perceptions of SCTs of the institutional support provided to them and the use they made of it throughout this year.