Transitioning from student to teacher can leave future educators questioning if they are truly prepared to enter into the classroom for the first time. Perhaps most feel confident about the training they received over the principles and procedures that will help prepare them but what happens once they leave the comfort of their mentor teachers and venture off into their career. Often beginning teachers encounter problems related to teaching, students, and the school environment. Unfortunately, a number of them will leave the profession within three to five years due to negative experiences. The ones who choose to stick it out typically will seek ways to enhance what they learned during their teacher preparation courses.
Teachers that remain in the profession are generally required to attend staff development or professional development over the course of the school year. For most teachers this is a waste of time and resources because it is usually some guest speaker who stands up in front of the entire school faculty and staff and talks about their past teaching experiences if any and whatever book they are selling. These are days that could be spent adding value to our teachers and school districts with professional development programs that provide engaging activities and give teachers something to take back to their classrooms. Some research has been done but more is needed when it comes to meaningful professional development for teachers.
Review of Literature
The personal and constructivist conception of teacher education which underlines the growth of personality, the process of becoming a teacher, support of the profession and construction of pedagogical knowledge and skills for creating one’s own idea of teaching are considered important factors towards the professional development of student teachers (Spilkova, 2001). Attention was given to training strategies to help students analyze their teaching activities.
According to Cherubini (2008) beginning teachers’ display high levels of energy and ideals about teaching despite their lack of competence. Research confirms new teachers experiences are affected by observations gathered throughout their practicum placements and that these observations translate into expectations as their careers evolve (Cherubini, 2008).
A study conducted by Smart (2010) determined that most new teachers feel quite capable of handling minor problems that tend to come along during the first few years of teaching. The experience that is gained from their student teaching plays a major part in their ability to gain this knowledge but most feel they lack or do not have adequate training or the skills needed to handle more extreme cases such as aggression, defiance and deviant behaviors. As a result most teachers fail to remain after their first year due to frustrations experienced.
The turnover rate for teachers in some areas is particular high and studies have determined that often it is...