The Perils of Feeling In-Between: The Experiences of Emerging Adult Novice Teachers
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This paper explores whether emerging adults who are also new teachers experience any negative consequences connected with the “in-between” feeling of emerging adulthood. A survey was administered to 58 first-year teachers to identify teachers who were satisfied and dissatisfied with their classroom management experiences. A subsample of 16 teachers were interviewed to elicit their narratives of becoming adult and becoming a teacher. Teachers used three frameworks to define and describe the experience of adulthood. Completing the Adult Checklist is a global status identified by the attainment of social role markers associated with adulthood. Feeling Adult is a subjective experience of adulthood that varies across contexts and is dependent on comparisons of the self with others. The third framework, Seen As Adult, is the establishment of adult status in the perceptions of significant others. Teachers dissatisfied with their classroom management were found to say that they did not Feel Adult in their classrooms and that they were not Seen As Adult by their students or other teachers. Implications are discussed for the study of difficulties encountered by emerging adults who take on roles in which they are expected to act in an adult capacity.
KeywordsEmerging adulthood Identity Narrative Teachers
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
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