Beginning teachers’ achievements and challenges: implications for induction and mentoring
Hudson, PB 2012, 'Beginning teachers’ achievements and challenges: implications for induction and mentoring', in T Aspland & M Simons (eds) Proceedings of the 2012 Annual Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) Conference, Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA), Australia.
It is recognised worldwide that beginning teachers require more support as reasons for high attrition rates (e.g., lack of appreciation from colleagues, unsatisfying working conditions, inadequate teacher preparation) indicate current systems are failing them. One way of addressing their specific needs is to understand their achievements and challenges during their first year of teaching. This qualitative study tracks 10 beginning primary teachers’ achievements and challenges at two points (April and September) during their first year of teaching in Australian public schools. Findings showed that building relationships and behaviour management were considered achievements at these two points, yet behaviour management was also considered a challenge. Other challenges included: learning differentiation, working with parents, and negotiating a life-work balance. Induction into the school culture and infrastructure continued to be important, especially developing skills on handling difficult parents and creating a life-work balance. Simultaneously, they required mentoring for effective teaching in classroom management and differentiation. A two-prong approach of induction into the school culture and infrastructure and mentoring for effective teaching needs to continue throughout the first year of teaching, and possibly beyond.