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“That’s What You Want to do as a Teacher, Make a Difference, Let the Child Be, Have High Expectations”: Stories of Becoming, Being and Unbecoming an Early Childhood Teacher
This article explores the experiences of four individuals who changed careers into early childhood teaching in Victoria, Australia and later left the profession. The study was conducted with a narrative inquiry approach and reveals insight into motivations for becoming an early childhood teacher (ECT), experiences of being an ECT and factors that lead to un-becoming an ECT. Participants were motivated by pragmatic reasons such as career advancement and family-work compatibility alongside intrinsic interest when becoming an ECT. They entered the profession eager to support children’s learning and development. However, their experiences compromised their health and wellbeing and inhibited them from teaching as they envisioned. The findings of the study hold implications for policy makers, employers and higher education in effort to retain and sustain ECTs.
Updated: Nov. 18, 2020