Does the first year of teaching have to be a bad one? A case study of success
TATE Volume 17, Number 8 ISSN 0742-051X Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
During the past two decades, researchers have shown considerable interest in teachers engaged in their first year of employment, a career phase believed to have long-term implications for teaching effectiveness, job satisfaction, and career length. One result of this line of inquiry is an extensive set of case studies describing failure in first-year teaching. However, there are occasional reports of positive examples of teacher induction, and close examination of new teachers who succeed has been suggested as an alternative means to understand success and failure in teaching. The study reported here is a case study of success in first-year teaching. Based on observations and interviews conducted over the course of one academic year, it focuses on the descriptions and interpretations of a new physical education teacher at a public school in the United States. The results revealed several factors which impacted the success of the first-year teacher studied, some related to preservice teacher preparation, others to school context, and others a result of taking an active role in the school social context. Three major themes evolved: (a) a match between expectations, personality, and workplace realities; (b) evidence of impact; and (c) using successful strategies to manage student behavior and enter the social and political culture of the school. The findings draw attention to the interplay between personal background, experiences during teacher preparation, and workplace characteristics as influences of not only relative success in teaching, but also a teacher's perceptions and interpretations of her school, students, and teaching performance.
Hebert, E. & Worthy, T. Does the first year of teaching have to be a bad one? A case study of success. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 17(8), 897-911. Elsevier Ltd.