With the start of every school year, new teachers enter classrooms across our country filled with excitement surrounding the impact they hope to have on students. Some teachers discover that teaching at the elementary level can often times involve more than teaching and loving children. The expectations, demands, and time constraints put on new teachers can become overwhelming and even lead some to leave the field of education early on in their career.
In regards to the teacher attrition rate, this study identified reasons why so many aspiring and newly employed elementary teachers leave their chosen profession so early in the game. The research also identified factors that encourage new teachers to remain in the classroom.
This active research focused on students enrolled at or recently graduated from the Lindenwood University Education Program in St. Charles, Missouri. The researcher studied soon to be and newly hired teachers in order to identify connections or disconnects between the perceptions of becoming a teacher as compared to the reality of the actual job. The qualitative study, over a span of three years, analyzed the results of both surveys and interviews that were developed by the researcher. Findings focused on teacher frustration and satisfaction in respect to both university preparation and school/district support.
The key areas that called for attention by beginning teachers included: 1) the need for more time to plan, communicate, handle additional responsibilities, and learn curriculum and resources, 2) the need for support including a mentor and grade level team to collaborate with along with a principal to connect with, 3) more training on how to teach and support special needs students and implement accommodations, 4) encouragement to overcome a dissolving sense of self-fulfillment, and 5) the need for strategies to efficiently handle responsibilities beyond teaching curriculum that take time from teaching such as supervision, meetings, parent communications, and more. Recommendations call for, first and foremost, ways to provide more time for dedicated new teachers to do the job well.
|Commitee:||Stewart, Terry, Weir, Graham|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Elementary education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Attrition rate, Mentoring, Teacher satisfaction|
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