From Trainee to Novice
Surviving the Induction Years of Language Teaching - The Importance of Reflective Practice - Thomas S. C. Farrell
Thomas S. C. Farrell [+]
Many novice teachers (and indeed many teacher educators, administrators and students) assume that once they have graduated from their teacher education programs all they will have to do is apply what they have learned during their first year of teaching. From their very first day however, and unlike in many other professions, novice teachers are asked to carry out all of the same activities as their most experienced teacher colleagues and many are left in ‘shock’. Essentially during the first year of teaching, much of the ‘shock’ for novice TESOL teachers centers around their attempts to balance a difficult act between learning to teach (i.e. furthering their knowledge initiated during the teacher education program) while at the same time as developing their conceptions of ‘self-as-teacher’ or their identity as an ESL teacher within an established school culture. If they survive this first year they are not out of the woods yet and so in their third year many teachers still leave the profession because their lives become even more hectic as they try to keep their heads above water. Some teachers begin to feel like failures because they cannot cope and feel so dejected that they leave the profession at enormous cost to all involved. Thus it becomes clear that only the most determined can survive their first three years and without more support in the form of reflective practice (see chapter 2), we will continue to lose our best and brightest ESL teachers (which is the purpose of the book).