The present study investigates teachers’ perceived challenge and competence at different stages when dealing with professional requirements.
A total of 655 teachers from 250 primary schools in the state of Zurich, Switzerland, at different career stages (pre-service, beginning and experienced teachers), completed a survey measuring four professional requirements in competence and challenge dimensions.
Structural equation modelling was used to assess the validity of the measures and teachers’ sense of competence and perceived challenge were compared across different career stages.
Beginning teachers were found to be lower in their sense of competence in all four requirements, but teachers’ experiences of challenge varied at different career stages.
The findings call for attention to facilitating new teachers to accomplish the required competencies and to minimise any stress arising from the challenges they face.
Promoting optimal use of resources through cooperation in the workplace may help beginning teachers to maximise their sense of competence.