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Professional Challenges in the Life of a New Teacher

  • Sandy Schuck
  • Peter Aubusson
  • John Buchanan
  • Tom Russell
Chapter

Abstract

The new teacher faces countless professional challenges in the early years of a teaching career. Everything about the classroom is familiar, yet moving from the student’s to the teacher’s side of the desk makes everything strange. Three stories in this chapter shed light on the nature of these professional challenges and how beginning teachers respond to them. Clearly, their experiences are quite unlike those of more experienced teachers who have learned to cope with these challenges. Beginning teachers want to focus on the quality of their students’ learning, yet it is impossible for them to escape challenges such as learning the professional language of teaching, working with and learning from a mentor and supporting the particular new initiatives that all teachers in a school are expected to adopt. Research documents clearly indicate that new teachers experience a level of culture shock that is largely unexpected. Research also suggests that the professional challenges for the beginning teacher do not change over time and are dealt with in the familiar sequence of survival, adjusting to the teaching setting and finally focusing on student learning.

Keywords

Prospective Teacher Experienced Teacher Department Head School Improvement Culture Shock 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgement

We thank Breanne Irwin, Aimee Doucette and Nathan Zehr for the stories they shared as contributions to this chapter.

References

  1. Fuller, F. F., & Bown, O. H. (1975). Becoming a teacher. In K. Ryan (Ed.), Teacher education (74th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Lortie, D. C. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Veenman, S. (1984). Perceived problems of beginning teachers. Review of Educational Research, 54, 143–178.Google Scholar
  4. Wideen, M., Mayer-Smith, J., & Moon, B. (1998). A critical analysis of the research on learning to teach: Making the case for an ecological perspective on inquiry. Review of Educational Research, 68, 130–178.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandy Schuck
    • 1
  • Peter Aubusson
    • 1
  • John Buchanan
    • 1
  • Tom Russell
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Research in Learning and ChangeUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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