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Induction programs for beginning teachers : making a difference Lim, Wendy Ann 1992

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INDUCTION PROGRAMS FOR BEGINNING TEACHERS:MAKING A DIFFERENCEbyWENDY ANN LIMB.Sc., The University of British Columbia, 1982A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Mathematics and Science Education)We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIADecember 1992© Wendy Ann LimIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature) Department of ^Mathematics and Science EducationThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDateDE-6 (2/88)AbstractThis study was based on the experiences of six first year teachers in a Districtsponsored induction program. The purpose of the study is two-fold: to gain someinsights into the perceptions of beginning teachers (in terms of their perceivedconcerns, level of support and dilemmas encountered), and to determine the impactof the induction program on their first year teaching experiences. It is hoped thatthe results of this study will help school districts design more effective inductionprograms to support beginning teachers as they make the transition from auniversity-based preparation program to full-time employment in the schools.Data were collected through focussed, semi-structured interviews. Over theduration of the year, four interviews were conducted with each first year teacher.The interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed verbatim. Through analysisof the transcripts, common perceptions were identified which captured some of theissues and concerns that they experienced in their first year of teaching.The findings of this study lead to the general conclusion that beginningteachers experience difficulties in their first year of teaching and that thesedifficulties are "dilemmas" that appear to be endemic to teaching. In addition, thefindings identify some specific support components of induction programs that arehelpful in assisting beginning teachers survive their first year of teaching. Finally,the findings lead to a general conclusion that induction success is very muchdependent on the context of each beginning teacher, specifically the characteristics ofthe beginning teacher, the context of the teaching situation, and the supportavailable for that beginning teacher.iiTABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT^ iiTABLE OF CONTENTS^ iiiLIST OF TABLESDEDICATION v iACKNOWLEDGEMENT v iiCHAPTER ONE - THE PROBLEM AND CONTEXT^ 1Introduction to the study^ 1Rationale for the study - the problem area 2Purpose of the study 4Research questions 5Overview of methods^ 5Limitations of the study 6Overview of the study 6CHAPTER TWO - REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE^8Introduction^ 8Rationale for support programs^ 8Perceived problems of beginning teachers 9Stages of teacher concerns 17Support programs for beginning teachers^ 20Internships^ 21Induction programs^ 25Perspectives on teaching 38Teaching as managing dilemmas 38Teacher education as a continuous progress^ 39Summary^ 41CHAPTER THREE - METHODOLOGY^ 42Introduction 42The context - setting for the study 42Description of the study 45Recruitment process^ 45Researchers^ 45Data collection and analysis 46CHAPTER FOUR - THE TEACHERS^ 49Introduction^ 49Case One: Katey 49Supportive relationships 50Loneliness 53Stress /burnout^ 54Summary 55Case Two: Leigh 56Supportive relationships^ 57Stress from dealing with parents 59Teaching philosophy 62Not knowing^ 64Summary 67iiiCase Three: Margaret^ 67Supportive relationships^ 68Job sharing 69Dealing with diversity 71Stress/burnout^ 72Summary 73Case Four: Sue 74Lack of support 76Stress^ 77Summary 80Case Five: Susan 81Supportive relationships^ 81Classroom management 85Stress/burnout^ 87Summary 90Case Six: Tracy 90Supportive relationships^ 91Classroom management 92Lack of materials 95Stress^ 97Summary 98Summary of the six cases^ 98CHAPTER FIVE - COMMON PERCEPTIONS^ 100Introduction^ 100Beginning teachers' common themes 100Stress 101Supportive relationships^ 102Common issues and dilemmas 107Beginning teachers' perceptions: Value of the District-widecomponent of the Induction Program^ 111Summary^ 114CHAPTER SIX - CONCLUSIONS, DISCUSSION, AND IMPLICATIONS^117Introduction 117Review of the study^ 117Conclusions emerging from the research questions^118Discussion of the issues arising out of the study 122Implications for practice and future research 128REFERENCES^ 131APPENDICES 143A- Recruitment letter^ 143B - Letter of confirmation 145C - Interview schedule 146D - Guiding interview questions^ 147E - A transcibed interview 151ivList of Tables5.1 Summary of themes from the six case studies5.2 Beginning teacher/mentor teacher relationship - perception bybeginning teachers101104VDEDICATIONTo My Mother Susan Lim1931-1985For Your Love, Support, and Guidance.viAcknowledgementsI would like to acknowledge the support from my family, friends and colleagues inmaking this thesis possible.Thank you . . .• Dad, Jimmy, Sharon, Ron, Ken, Phillis, Peter, Christina, Jason, Susanna, andSamantha for your patience, care, and love,• Alice, Maureen, Bruce, and Gord for your encouragement, humour, andassistance,• Monica, Merrilee, and Denis for your comfort, care and thoughtful questions,• Katey, Leigh, Margaret, Sue, Susan, and Tracy for your willingness to share yourstories of being first year teachers,• Nadine for your encouragement, thoughtfulness and collaboration,• Dr. Gaalen Erickson and Dr. Jim Gaskell for your thoughtful questions,generous time, and encouragement!Many thanks to these people for making this thesis possible!!!viiChapter 1The Problem and Context1.0^Introduction to the studyThe complexity of teaching has continually increased over the years withinitiatives like mainstreaming, child-centered curriculum, authentic assessmentand other issues being introduced into the public schools which are responsible forthe education of our children. Beginning teachers entering the profession needmore support than ever as they make the transition from the universities to theschools to face these new challenges. Research indicates that one of the results ofnot providing support during the first years of teaching leads to high attrition ratesamongst beginning teachers and that without support and assistance manypotentially good teachers become discouraged and abandon teaching (Ryan et. al.,1980). Schlechty and Vance (1983) estimate that 30% of beginning teachers drop outof the profession during their first two years and 40 to 50% leave during the firstseven years.More recently and closer to home, research from Sullivan's A legacy forlearners: The report of the Royal Commission on Education (1988), shows thatbeginning teachers leave the profession in large numbers. The attrition rate isreported at 44% by the end of the first five years of teaching. This is very distressing.What can be done to support beginning teachers?In this chapter, the problem area, purpose, and methods used in this studywill be outlined.11.1^Rationale for the study - the problem areaThe difficulties experienced by beginning teachers have consequences for ourchildren.A first-grader does not learn to read and begins to fall behind. Aseventh-grader has trouble with his teachers and begins to give up. Ahigh school student wants to pursue a career in science but is frustratedby the shortcomings of the new [mathematics] teacher. Students arethe primary victims when beginning teachers fail. (Ryan, 1986, p.7)Researchers point out that beginning teachers worry about surviving on a dayto day basis. Veenman (1984) reviewed 83 studies of elementary and secondaryteachers, and found that beginning teachers tend to perceive the following problemareas: classroom discipline; motivating students; dealing with individualdifferences; assessing students' work; relationships with parents; organization ofclass work; insufficient and/or inadequate teaching materials and supplies; anddealing with problems of individual students.So overwhelming are the demands and problems experienced by thesebeginning teachers that 30% leave the teaching profession in the first two years and40 to 50% leave during the first seven years (Schlechty & Vance, 1983). For some, itcan be said that they never should have entered teaching in the first place; for many,however, there is evidence that we are losing some of the potentially best teachers asthey find the occupation and working conditions unsatisfactory (Hart & Murphy,1990).The word "induction" comes from the Latin "inducere" meaning to lead in.Teachers are led into, rather than thrown into teaching. To avoid the high attritionamongst beginning teachers, induction programs need to be established. They aredesigned to support beginning teachers as they make the transition from the2university-based preparation programs to full-time employment in the schools.Induction programs help beginning teachers deal with teaching problems, issuesand dilemmas so that they stay in the teaching profession. When inductionprograms offer initial support and instruction, over 95% of beginning teachers stayin teaching (Blackburn, 1977; Hegler & Dudley, 1987; Summers, 1987).In 1980, McDonald and Elias, conducted a detailed study on beginningteachers and induction programs in Ontario. They describe the "facts" of theirinvestigations:1^Almost all teachers experience the transition period intoteaching as the most difficult aspect of their teaching andcareer....2^The major problems of and difficulties that teachers experienceare readily identifiable. Most of them relate to the managementand conduct of instruction....3^The least studied aspect of this transition period is the fear,anxiety, and feelings of isolation and loneliness that appear tocharacterize it.4^Almost all teachers report that they went through this transitionperiod "on their own". They had little or no help available, andfound help only through their own initiative.5^There is probably a strong relationship between how teacherspass through the transition period and how likely they are toprogress professionally to high levels of competence andendeavour (Vol. 1, pp. 42-43).More recently, in British Columbia, A legacy for learners: the report of theRoyal Commission on Education (Sullivan, 1988) Recommendation 6.10 states "thatdistrict-based induction programs be established cooperatively by school districts andteachers, and that they be characterized by special support services and carefullydesigned teaching assignments during the first year of induction" (p. 137). Theresearch from this commission shows that beginning teachers leave the professionin large numbers and suggests that,3part of the reason for this apparent lack of commitment to theprofession is teacher misassignment.... Beginning teachers are toooften faced with unreasonable teaching assignments.... They may lackready access to instant and expert advice on many problems theyencounter during their first ten years.... The beginning teachers whowere surveyed idenitified five additional major sources of teacherstress and anxiety: class size (61%), poor student behaviour (46%),limited equipment and supplies (24%), demands of special needsstudents (24%) and political problems (30%)" (Sullivan, 1988, p. 136).There must be support for beginning teachers. The attrition figures, whencoupled with a forecast of a national shortage of teachers, are distressing. Thefigures are even more distressing when they are linked to another commonsuggestion of research that the most qualified new teacher may be the first to leave....Attrition amongst teachers is costly to both individuals and their institutions(Jensen, 1987, p. 30).Fullan and Hargreaves (1991) state that,each and every teacher has a direct responsibility for helping to shapethe quality of the next generation of teachers.... But, however good newteachers may be in academic qualifications and experiences, they stillrepresent only raw potential. The conditions of teaching especially atthe beginning, influence and sometimes determine how good a newteacher will become. This one teacher will in turn affect the quality oflearning experiences of hundreds of children over the next thirty years.What's worth fighting for is to make sure that these new teachers havebetter, much better, conditions for having a career. All teachers canmake a contribution.... (pp. 78-79)These findings illustrate the need to better understand the experiences ofbeginning teachers and for support programs to be established.1.2^Purpose of the studyThe purpose of the study is to gain more insight into beginning teachers'experiences in teaching (in terms of school-based support) and to understand theirperceptions of the value of the District-wide component of an induction program4that was designed to support them in their first year of teaching. It is hoped that theresults of the study can be used to design more effective support programs so thatschool districts can retain their new teachers by addressing such common problemsas: stress; classroom management; misassignment; and isolation.1.3 Research QuestionsTwo general questions and a sub-question provide focus for the study:• What are the perceptions of six beginning teachers, participating in aDistrict Induction Program, about their experiences teaching?• What types of support did they receive in their schools from theprogram?• What are the beginning teachers' perceptions of the value of the District-wide component of the Induction Program?1.4 Overview of the MethodsFocussed interviews were conducted with six first year teachers to determinetheir experiences in the Wellington* School District's Beginning TeacherInduction/Mentoring Program (*the actual name of the School District has beenchanged to maintain its confidentiality). Each participant was interviewed fourtimes during the year. The focussed interviews were semi-structured and had aconversational manner to them. These interviews were transcribed verbatim fromthe audiotapes and then participants' experiences were analyzed. Themes ofperceptions for each beginning teacher were identified and then common themes ofexperiences amongst these six beginning teachers were determined.51.5 Limitations of the studyThe study was limited to the experiences of these six beginning teachers in thecontext of the Wellington School District's Beginning Teacher Induction/MentoringProgram. Therefore, I cannot generalize to other beginning teachers or contexts.The data were collected through focussed interviews and thus the study was furtherlimited by the participants' ability to recall and describe events, and their willingnessto discuss their perceptions. The fact that all six of the participants were female alsolimits the study's generalizability. However, this study does provide an insight intothe lives of six beginning teachers in an induction program and how theyexperienced their first year of teaching. The stories of these six beginning teachersoffer insights into the way they thought, felt, perceived and dealt with the teachingissues they were encountering. Their stories tell about the complexities of teachingand how teaching is about managing professional dilemmas. Also, as a result oftheir stories, more questions and issues are raised as to the kinds of support that isnecessary to ensure that beginning teachers experience successful first years ofteaching.1.6 Overview of the StudyThis study is presented in six chapters. Chapter one introduces and brieflyoutlines the study in terms of its rationale, purpose, and methods. Chapter tworeviews relevant literature on perceived concerns and types of support programsavailable for beginning teachers. Chapter three describes the methodology of thestudy while Chapter four, describes and analyzes the six mini-case studies. Ananalysis of common perceptions amongst all the six participants is presented in6Chapter five. In the final chapter, conclusions are presented and discussed, andimplications for practice and possibilities for future research are identified.7Chapter 2Review of Related Literature^2.0^IntroductionThis study describes both the perceptions of beginning teacher in their firstyear of teaching (in terms of concerns, level of support and dilemmas encountered)and their perceptions of the value of a District induction program. Collectively, thefindings of many educational researchers provide an amalgam of information onperceived problems and concerns of beginning teachers. The literature on inductionprograms is more recent and is primarily descriptive in nature. Griffin (1985)expresses a concern about this and states that few research studies have been doneon the effectiveness of induction programs.In the first part of this chapter, a rationale for support program is describedbased on perceived concerns of beginning teachers. The second part of this chapterfocusses on support programs in terms of types, goals and components. Thisoverview will situate this research study in the field. The final portion of thischapter introduces two perspectives on teaching that will be further discussed in thefinal three chapters. They are: "teaching as managing dilemmas" (Cuban, 1992) and"teacher education as a continuous process" (Fullan & Connelly, 1987; Huling-Austin, 1990; Fullan, 1991).^2.1^Rationale for support programsSchlechty and Vance (1983) estimate that about 30% of beginning teachersleave the profession during their first two years of teaching. The overall rate of8teacher turnover is 6% per year. The dropout of new teachers does not reduce to 6%until the fifth or sixth year. In addition, 40 to 50% leave during the first seven years.This means more than two-thirds of those teachers who leave do so in the first fouryears of teaching.Furthermore, researchers identify that the quality of the teacher work force isinfluenced not only by those who enter teaching, but by those who stay in teaching.Fullan (1991) states, "in a word, the situation faced by first year teachers isoverwhelming. Whether those teachers experience the sink or swimindividualism characteristic of traditional school cultures or the inbuilt support,collaborative work cultures make a huge difference in whether they stay in theprofession and how good they will become if they do" (pp. 303-4). Thus, in order tosupport beginning teachers, there is a need to identify their perceived problems andto establish programs that will support them as they face the challenges of teaching.2.1.1 Perceived problems of beginning teachersVeenman (1984) identifies the perceived problems of beginning teachers inschools where no assistance is provided. By identifying perceived problems, we canstart to look at possible components of support programs to ensure that beginningteachers do not leave the profession in such staggering numbers.Veenman (1984) defines a problem to be "a difficulty that beginning teachersencounter in the performance of their task, so that intended goals may be hindered"(p. 143). To gain an indication of the perceived problems of beginning teachers heconducted an international literature search. He restricted the sample to studiesconducted from 1960 to the 1983. His aim was to review the relevant literature to9get an impression of the problems of beginning elementary and secondary teachersfrom an international perspective. In selecting the literature, he used the followingcriteria: "the studies must deal with problems with beginning teachers... and thestudies must be based on empirical research...." (Veenman, 1984, p. 148). Theinternational bibliographic search yield 83 studies of which 55 were from the UnitedStates and two were from Canada.Veenman's findings reveal that the eight most frequently perceived problems(in rank order) are: "classroom discipline, motivating students, dealing withindividual differences, assessing students' work, relationships with parents,organization of class work, insufficient materials and supplies, and dealing withproblems of individual students" (1984, p. 160). Classroom discipline is by far themost serious problem identified.Other studies (Anderson, 1963; Penrod, 1974; York, 1967; Williams, 1976;Taylor and Dale, 1971; Tisher et. al., 1979), reveal great similarities between theproblems experienced by beginning teachers (Veenman, 1984) and the problems ofbeginning teachers as perceived by principals.Ryan (1986) identifies a shorter list of common problems that face first yearteachers: the shock of the familiar (classroom), students, parents, administrators,fellow teachers, and instruction and states that "these problems act in combination"(p. 16). He feels that "acknowledgement of these potential problems is the first stepin the new teacher's professional growth. And there are some things that theteacher can do in this initial year that will make it easier to solve these problems.There are also things that school systems and teacher training institutions can do"(p. 30).10Covert, Williams and Kennedy (1991) find similar problems but add that"interesting findings of [their] study seem to have resulted from the rural positionsto which the beginning teachers have been assigned" (p. 14). Three additionalfindings are: "few resources and multi-grade classrooms; problems attainingemployment in a tight job market (that is, substitute teaching and rural posting);and concerns of teaching in an increasingly litigious society (that is, rights of abusedchildren and rights of beginning teachers)" (p. 12). These concerns are expressed byother beginning teachers in both rural and urban schools.Boccia (1991) also finds that "beginning elementary teachers... clearly focussedon topics related to the teaching task, including planning for instruction andsecuring student engagement in learning, rather than issues considered external tothe teacher-student-content interaction, such as record keeping" (p. 15).Odell (1986a) expands on the profession's understanding of the beginningteachers' problems. Unlike Veenman's study, her research takes place in schoolswhere beginning teachers receive assistance, and involves direct observation of theneeds of new teachers during their first year. In addition, instead of looking atperceived problems, she focusses on perceived needs. Integrating these observationsyield the following rank order of the needs of beginning teachers: ideas aboutinstruction; personal and emotional support; advice on resources and materials forteaching; information on school district policies and procedures; and ideas foradditional techniques on classroom management.Odell (1986c) comments that "this rank order clearly implies that for newteachers to whom assistance is provided, instructional needs are most important. Incontrast, for new teachers to whom no assistance has been provided, needs related to11managing students predominate" (p. 21). In attempts to understand this difference,Odell hypothesizes that by "offering new teachers structured support at the start oftheir initial teaching year, school districts may help them diminish their disciplineproblems, with the result that new teachers, like veteran teachers, will be able tofocus more on instructional rather than on disciplinary issues" (1986c, p. 21).Further to this, Snow (1988) describes some of the difficulties she encounteredin her first year of teaching. Her experiences, like many others, confirm what otherresearchers have shown about the needs of first year teachers. She maintains, "I didfeel unprepared in a variety of areas" (p. 288). These five essential area are: long-term planning; subject matter development; evaluation; conducting parentinterviews; and, time management. She suggests that,instructors at the university [provide] future teachers... with practicalskills [like learning day-to-day techniques, long-term planning, courseoutline designs]; first year teachers must be encouraged to approach theexperienced teachers on the school staff... to ask to see lesson plans,copy worksheets and to look in on other teachers' classes; futureteachers must be equipped with more than the "standard deviation","histogram" language of measurement and evaluation; universitiesshould offer a mandatory credit course designed to help teacherscommunicate effectively with parents; and finally [that] first yearteachers must look closely at their priorities... time managementcourses should be offered by universities so that future teachers will beable to deal with the varying demands on their time and energy" (1988,pp. 291-293).Fullan and Hargreaves (1991) agree with Snow's last suggestion and cautionthat "we must... be careful not to take advantage of new teachers and theirseemingly endless energy by loading them with extra-curricular responsibilities andgiving them the worst classes. This is a sure path to early burnout" (p. 28).Lortie (1975) points out that, the beginning teacher is responsible for teachingstudents from the very first day and is expected to perform the very same tasks that12the veteran of 25 years performs. In addition to the high anxiety level noted amongbeginning teachers, the average beginning teacher is characterized by what Burden(1981 cited by Wildman & Borko, 1985, p. 7) describes as having:• limited knowledge of teaching practices;• limited knowledge of the teaching environment;• a subject-centered approach to the curriculum and to teaching;• conformity to the image of teacher as authority;• limited professional insights and perceptions;• feelings of uncertainty, confusion and insecurity; and• unwillingness to try new teaching methods.In addition to Burden's list, Clewitt (1984) finds that these problems areexacerbated by organizational structures. She finds these common problemsamongst beginning teachers: classroom management and discipline; studentmotivation; adjustment to the physical demands of teaching, managinginstructional tasks (organizing work, individualizing assessment and assignments,instruction, locating materials and supplies); sacrificing leisure time; and managingnon-instructional demands of the position (establishing relationships with students,parents, colleagues; managing extra-curricular assignments; enlisting assistance ofother staff members).In terms of some specific issues, researchers have also discovered that threeproblems have significantly contributed to a difficult teaching situation. Theyidentify misassignment, burnout and isolation.In a study at the University of Austin, (Huling-Austin, L., Putnam, S., &Galvez-Hjornevik, C., 1986), new teachers reported that their discomfort cameprimarily from the difficulty of their teaching assignment. Clewitt (1984) explainsthat new teachers are assigned larger groups of students, more difficult students, andmore duties of both an instructional and non-instructional nature. The teaching13assignment itself is also frequently unrelated to the new teacher's subject matterexpertise and experience in teacher training.Generally speaking, the teacher with the most experience requests andreceives the most attractive assignments, leaving the more difficult assignments tobeginning teachers, those with the least background and experience to handle thesechallenges (Sullivan, 1988). Difficult assignments can take several forms besideteaching in an area for which the teacher is not certified, such as working with thelow-ability or unmotivated/disruptive students, having numerous classpreparations, "floating" from classroom to classroom, or being responsible fordemanding and time-consuming extra-curricular activities. These types ofbeginning teacher misassignments and overloads have been noted by researcherswho conclude that beginning teachers are often put in situations which preventthem from succeeding in their first years of teaching (Hoffman, Griffin, Edwards,Paullissen, O'Neal & Barnes, 1985; Huling-Austin, Putnam & Galvez-Hjornevik,1986). Lortie (1966) refers to this present pattern of inducting new teachers as the"Robinson Crusoe" model, while Houston and Felder (1982) compare suchtreatment to the "breaking of horses" (cited in Hoffman, Edwards, O'Neal, &Paullissen, 1986, p. 16). Hall (1982) describes the first year of teaching as "trial byfire".The second issue is burnout. New teachers who are unable to cope with thestresses caused by these teaching problems (Veenman, 1984; Clewitt, 1984; Ryan,1986; Odell, 1986a; Snow, 1988), may experience symptoms of job burnout early intheir career. Maslach, Jackson & Schwab (1986) describe the characteristics of jobburnout in teaching as chronic feelings of emotional exhaustion and fatigue, the14development of negative attitudes toward students, and a loss of feelings ofaccomplishment from teaching. Schwab and Iwanicki (1982), and Gold (1985) findyounger teachers experience these feelings more frequently than older teachers.New teachers who experience these negative feelings are likely to be less effective inthe classroom and eventually leave the profession. In some cases, individualsdecide to stay on the job but detach themselves from responsibility for dealing withthe problems they are unable to resolve (Jackson, Schwab, and Schuler, 1986;Dworkin, 1987).For Gold (1989), "burnout is usually seen as the final step in a progression ofunsuccessful attempts to cope with a variety of negative stress conditions. It is oftenthe result of being stressed and not having an "out" or not being involved in sometype of support system. Stress also occurs when there is an imbalance between thedemands of the environment and the individual's response capabilities" (p. 66).Gold (1985), and Schwab and Iwanicki (1982) use the Maslach Burnout Inventory intheir research to measure perceived levels of burnout amongst teachers. To providedirection to induction program developers, Gold (1987) proposes four key factors ininduction program design which can reduce stress. They are:1^the need for teachers to become aware of their own stress and itseffect on them;2^identification of perceived levels of burnout in the areas ofemotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personalaccomplishment;3^the development of an individual stress reduction plan to dealwith stress and burnout; and4^establishment of support systems, both individual and group, toprevent loneliness and isolation and to provide necessaryintervention strategies. (pp. 339-401)She concludes that "stress in the life of a beginning teacher must be identifiedand reduced if burnout of young, gifted beginning teachers is to be eliminated"15(Gold, 1989, p. 69). Ayalon (1989) concurs with Gold. The findings of his study"underscore the importance of planning for a successful first year experience forteacher. Providing for a positive recognition and adequate time for planning andinstruction, as well as reducing class size may reduce beginning teachers' burnoutand consequently reduce teachers' attrition" (p. 5). He states that beginning teacherburnout is a serious problem in the schools and may affect the ability to performeffectively and ultimately has an impact on student learning and motivation.The third issue for beginning teachers that has been raised in the literature isthat of isolation. Cochran-Smith (1991) states, "there are powerful norms in mostschools against collegiality" (p. 109). Little (1981) suggests that this lack of positivepeer support is one of the conditions of teaching which can lead to job dissatisfactionand impede professional growth. Sarason (1971) describes the consequence ofspending most of one's time with small children and having little contact withother adults as the "loneliness of teachers" (p. 106). In addition to this loneliness,Feinman-Nemser and Floden (1986) suggest that the "uncertainties of teaching areexacerbated by the fact that teachers cannot easily turn to one another for help andsupport. This reality is especially salient for the novice who must "sink or swimalone" (p. 517). Grant and Zeichner (1981) conclude that many beginning teachersidentify informal interactions with experienced colleagues as a significant source ofsupport.Lortie (1975) suggests that teachers' unwillingness to share their failures andfrustrations intensify the burden of failure. Beginning teachers adopt anindividualistic response and are unable to see that the problems they areexperiencing are common to all teachers. According to Lortie, it is primarily16through interactions with colleagues that beginning teachers are eventually able tocope with feelings of self doubt and gain the reassurance that they are making adifference in children's lives. Lortie's conclusion implies that the self-esteem ofthese beginning teachers is heightened through conversations with other teachers.Hayes & Kilgore (1990) find this to be the case in their study and state that,by discussing their concerns with other teachers, these beginningteachers would have been able to continue growing professionally.However, by limiting their conversations with others and avoidingexplorations of their concerns, these teachers significantly narrowedtheir range of alternative explanations of classroom events andalternative strategies (p. 6).These research studies on perceived problems and specific issues likemisassignment, burnout and loneliness emphasize the need for establishingsupport programs. In the literature, many studies have been conducted to identifythe specific areas of teacher development and this knowledge can assist in thedesign of more effective support programs.2.1.2 Stages of Teacher ConcernsOdell (1986c), like other researchers (Burke, Fessler, & Christensen, 1984;Fuller, 1969; Katz, 1972), hypothesizes that practicing teachers progress through well-delineated stages of development. In broad terms, teachers seem first to haveconcerns about surviving from one day to the next. From these, they move toconcerns about managing teaching responsibilities, and then to concerns about theimpact of their teaching on students. Eventually, experienced teachers raisequestions about the teaching profession (Odell & Loughlin, 1986). Odell (1987a)states that "for the most part, beginning teachers move ahead steadily in their17development as teachers. Progress seems to occur more rapidly when the systemprovides skilled assistance.... "And thus, Odell's (1986a, 1986b) "functional approach" model, defines areas ofsupport appropriate for first year teachers which reflect these stages of thedevelopment. This approach is characterized by empirically observing the actualfunctioning of an induction-support program and infering new teachers' needsfrom the observed behaviours of beginning teachers and support personnel. Thefunctional approach has the advantages of being dynamic and reflects the changingsupport needed as the development of the new teacher evolves, and it providescurrent information on which to base the delivery of induction support.Fuller (1969) emphasises the need to identify teacher career stages and todesign linkages between preparation institutions and schools for the continuedsupport of new teachers. This work in teacher career stages confirms the need forthis linkage and for the development of a program for the induction of newteachers.Ryan (1986) describes Fuller's theory of teacher concerns as "teachers gothrough three stages once they begin teaching. If we included their preparation andstudent teaching, there would be four stages. The first stage might be called the"fantasy' stage, followed by the "survival" stage, then the "mastery" stage, andfinally the "impact" stage. It was the first two stages that concerned the beginningteacher" (p. 10).The fantasy stage begins when the person starts to think seriously aboutbecoming a teacher. Most pre-service teachers fantasize about what their life as ateacher will be like. The fantasy stage is interrupted by student teaching which18provides an opportunity to act like a teacher and to try out skills and ideas.For most beginning teachers the survival stage is the biggest challenge.The timing and the intensity of first year teachers' survival stagevaried immensely. Intensity was a personal matter.... But there wassome consistency among first year teachers in the timing of the onset ofthe survival stage. The research suggested that the arrival of the curveof enchantment, which paralleled the survival stage, occurred in theFall between the first of October and the Christmas break. However, itcould start on the first day or the final week of school and it could lasteight hours or eight months. The crisis could occur once or be a seriesof seeming disasters.... (Ryan, 1986, p. 12)Usually the survival stage is over by February and the teacher passes into the"mastery of craft" stage, where the new teacher begins to learn the craft of teachingin a step-by-step fashion.Several other authors support this teacher career stages theory (Burden, 1982;Unrah & Turner, 1970; Gregorc, 1973; Katz, 1972; Watts, 1980). When Veenman(1984) completed his study on perceived problems of beginning teachers, hecommented on his findings as being "too general in that they do not consider thevarious teacher characteristics or individual differences which may influenceteachers' perceptions and performance. Nor do they identify and describe thecontext so that we can understand how environments with varying supports andchallenges affect the beginning teacher" (p. 160). He acknowledges three approachesthat had been developed to look more carefully at the process of becoming a teacher(Developmental Stages of Concern: Fuller, 1969; Fuller & Bown, 1975; CognitiveDevelopmental Framework: Oja, 1981; Sprinthall & Thies-Sprinthall, 1983;Glassberg & Sprinthall, 1980; Teacher Socialization Framework: McArthur, 1981,Johston & Ryan, 1980; Tabachnick et. al., 1983; Lacey, 1977). These "teacherdevelopment" approaches present "frameworks for a more comprehensive19understanding of the problems beginning teachers experienced....[ and thus] theseapproaches provided some guidance in designing interventions for enhancing thedevelopmental process" (Veenman, 1984, p. 160).The descriptions of the problems and concerns of these first year teachersemphasize the need for collaboration between universities, school districts, andschools to help the new teachers survive.2.2 Support programs for beginning teachersTeacher induction has been defined as the transition from student teaching toteacher (Griffin, et. al., 1983) It is a process by which teachers are "led into", ratherthan thrown into teaching. Teacher induction is best understood in the largercontext of teacher education, which often has been described as a continuum,represented by:pre-service >induction >in-serviceAccording to Huling-Austin (1990), if induction is to be viewed in thiscontext, it is clear that programs to address the induction period (i.e., inductionprograms and internships) need to function both as logical extensions of the pre-service program and as entry points in a larger career-long professionaldevelopment program.Induction programs acknowledged that beginning teachers hadrecently completed teacher-preparation programs and still neededsupervision and support similar to that which was available in thestudent phase. Such support enabled beginners to continue to developtheir teaching skills while confronting the adjustment difficulties ofthe first years. From this transition stage, the teacher could thenproceed to a staff-development program that provided opportunitiesfor continued professional growth. (Huling-Austin, 1990, p. 535)An induction program is a planned program intended to provide some20systematic and sustained assistance, specifically to beginning teachers (Zeichner,1979). Others have described the purpose of these support programs to "develop innew members of an occupation those skills, forms of knowledge, attitudes andvalues that are neccessary to effectively carry out their occupational roles"(Schlechty, 1985, p. 37), "assist new teachers to be professionally competent" (Tisher,1982), and "encompass the mastery of two tasks - effective use of the skills ofteaching and adapting to the social system of the school" (McDonald & Elias, 1980).In the literature, both induction programs and internships are examples ofsuch support programs. In the next part of this chapter, both these programs willbe described based on a review of related descriptive studies.2.2.1 Internships as support programs for beginning teachersTitley (1984) defines "internship...as a transitional experience - a transitionfrom the world of academic preparation to that of full professional responsibility... itbridges the gap between theory and practice" (p. 84). The advocates of internship forteachers seem to have borrowed the idea and the terminology from the internshipemployed in medical education.Jacknicke and Samiroden (1991) state that literature on the subject of teacherinternship reveal three major characteristics. First, a great deal of emphasis isdirected at integrating theory and practice (Blackmore, 1968; Carney & Titley, 1981;Titley, 1984). Second, they are designed to "facilitate the transition from academicpreparation to full professional responsibility" (Carney & Titley, 1981, p.11). "Third,notwithstanding these common characteristics in principles, there had been, andthere continued to be, a wide range of programs all carrying the label "internship."21The structure of these programs showed considerable variation in duration,supervision, sponsorship, and the relationship to a teacher education program" (p.100).Internships range in length from 16 weeks (Carney & Titley, 1981; Lang,Cornish, & Trew, 1980) to a complete school year, and may occur after completion ofundergraduate studies (Slentz, 1978) or integrated within an extendedundergraduate program (Jones & Barnes, 1984). During these periods, the internsmay be supervised by university staff, school staff, school district consultants, orrepresentatives of all of these, depending on the sponsorship of the program. Someprograms make provision for the interns to return to the sponsoring institutions ona regular basis for discussion while others include on-site, in-service sessions (Allen,1986; Harker, 1978; Mickelson, 1980; Silvernail & Costello, 1983). Some internshipsare prerequisite to graduation or certification, while others replace the probationaryor induction year (Lawrence, 1985). Interns may also be contracted and salaried bythe local school board (Jacknicke & Samiroden, 1991, p. 100).Titley (1984) describes the evolution of internships and considers them tohave originated in Britain. The James Committee's Report on teacher education(Evans, 1978) and the White Paper on policy argue for an "induction year" in whichbeginning teachers would have a lightened workload and be released for about one-fifth of their time for in-service training. A crucial role in all of this is theassignment of "professional tutors" who would supervise and guide the beginnersthroughout the year.The British notion of an induction year differs in some respects from theAmerican concept of internship. Under the British system the teachers have already22received their teaching certificates and have actually been employed by an educationauthority. The induction year, then, does not lead to certification, but topermanency of employment. In the United States, the internship year precedescertification and involves no commitment from the school authorities to hire theintern upon completion of the year (Titley, 1984).The adoption of internship as a feature of teacher education is mostpronounced in the United States. The 47th Yearbook (Rex, 1968) of the NationalEducation Association, states:the internship in teacher education is an integral part of theprofessional preparation of the teacher candidate, having beenpreceded by successful observation-participation and student teachingor equivalent clinical experiences in a school environment, and isplanned and coordinated by the teacher education institution incooperation with one or more school systems. The intern is contractedby and paid by a local school board, assigned a carefully plannedteaching load for a school year, and enrolled in college courses thatparallel his professional experience. The intern is supervised both by ahighly competent teacher who is recognized for his supervisorycapacity and is assigned released time to devote to the supervision ofinterns and by a college supervisor who makes a series of observationsand works closely with the school supervisor and the intern. (pp. 18-19)Internship, then, is perceived as an experience that follows the academicprogram and student teaching, and that acts as a transition to the stage of fullprofessional responsibility. Many American internship programs are designed tomeet the needs of specific or unusual teaching situations. Interns have far morefreedom of action than student teachers and are paid (Titley, 1984, pp. 85-7).According to Huling-Austin (1990), American internships serve people whoare entering the profession through some other route than the traditional pre-service teacher education program. As such, internships often involve uncertifiedteachers on limited contracts who have reduced teaching responsibilities and23increased support and supervision.Internships often included many of the same features as inductionprograms, but they were likely to focus more heavily on training thanmore traditional induction programs, which tended to emphasizetransition from student teaching to teacher. Furthermore, the role andresponsibilities of the intern typically were substantially different fromthose of the first year teacher (Huling-Austin, 1990, p. 536).Internship programs in teacher education in Canada owe much to theexample of medical education and to American influence. According to Titley(1984), "Canadian programs were difficult to classify because the concepts of"extended practicum" and "internship" were often used interchangeably withunderstandable confusion" (p. 89).There has been a national trend evident in Canada since the mid 1970s ofextending the period of student teaching in teacher education. These extendedpractica sometimes last up to sixteen weeks and are often called "internships." AsBuski, of the Alberta Teachers' Association, (1988) describes it,in Canada we have two forms of induction years. One of these hasbeen that form of help advocated and planned by teacher organizationsand/or school systems, an assistance [induction] program....and theother form is the internship which is a planned experience utilizing arange of resource personnel and with the involvement of teacherpreparation institutions. The traditional method of bridging thetheory into practice gap in the preparation of teachers has been"student teaching." By definition, an extended practicum is a programof structured and supervised full-time in-school experiences of severalweeks in duration occurring as part of the pre-service preparation, thesuccessful completion of which is required for degree completion andteacher certification (Canadian Teachers' Federation, 1988, p. 125).A survey of 1987/88 university calendars reveal a practicum can last betweenfour to sixteen weeks. Current Canadian Teachers' Federation policy on this mattercalls for a minimum of 12 semester hours in the practicum.Internships/extended practica that have taken place in Canada include: the24Universities of Saskatchewan and Regina (since 1977), University ofVictoria/Saanish school district (since 1973), Project MEET at McGill ElementaryEducation Teaching Teams (from 1967-8), University of Manitoba's graduateinternship for teachers (since 1975), Queens' University, Kingston Ontario (since1974). The Saanich-University of Victoria and Project MEET programs are combinedand continue course work at the university while the Manitoba program followsgraduation and certification.There has been descriptive reports on the internship programs at theUniversity of Alberta - the Initiation to Teaching Project (Ratsoy, Friesen, &Holdaway, 1989), and the University of Saskatchewan (Crozier-Smith, 1988; Genge,1988; Robinson & Ryan, 1989).2.2.2 Induction programs as support for beginning teachersThe second type of support program for beginning teachers are inductionprograms which are designed to support transition for beginning teachers, teachersnew to a district or school, and administrators. Currently, induction programs arebeing established in Canada and the United States in response to perceived need.Specifically, major written reports in Canada have helped to establish CanadianInduction Programs. In Canada, most of the activity has been in Ontario as a resultof the study by McDonald and Elias (1980) which probed into the problems ofbeginning teachers and induction programs.More recently, the issue of teacher education is addressed by Fullan andConnelly's (1987) paper entitled: Teacher Education in Ontario: Current Practiceand Options for the Future which is written for the Provincial Teacher Education25Review Steering Committee. In this paper, they write that "induction is the key tobeginning to build a true continuum in teacher education" (p. 37). They describe"the notion of collective professionalism... [where] teachers and other support staffact as small groups of professionals interacting frequently in the course of planning,testing new ideas, attempting to solve different problems, and assessingeffectiveness..." (p. 51). The implications, then, are that "the profession can play agreater role in training, licensing, hiring, inducting, continuing in-service, andfiring" (p. 51) of teachers. Thus, they proposed Recommendation 6.1 "that a two-year period of induction become mandatory for all teachers.... [that] the teaching loadduring the first year of induction be no more than 60% and no more than 80% inthe second year" (p. 76). In 1988, the Ontario Teacher Education Review SteeringCommittee, recommended that an induction phase become mandatory by 1995 andthat pilot projects be funded in the interim (Fullan & Connelly, 1990). Since then,several individual school boards have initiated induction programs of their ownand sometimes in cooperation with local universities.Another Ontario report by Cole and McNay (1988) identifies the need andfour possible goals of induction programs.1^Orientation: integrating beginning teachers and teachers new tothe setting, into the professional and social fabric of the school,school district, and neighborhood community;2^Psychological support: promoting teachers' professional andpersonal self-esteem and well-being;3^Acquisition and refinement of teaching skills: attending to thedevelopment of knowledge, skills, and attitudes in those areasrelated to daily classroom teaching in which teachers feel inmost need of support; and4^Development of a philosophy of education: including habits ofreflective practice and a commitment to continued professionalgrowth (p. 10).In British Columbia, the B.C. Royal Commission's Report on Education26(Sullivan, 1988), Recommendation 6.10 states "that district-based inductionprograms be established cooperatively by school districts and teachers, and that theybe characterized by special support services and carefully designed teachingassignments during the first year of induction" (p. 136). In addition to this, theTeacher Education - A position paper, by the B. C. Teachers' Federation (1991),Recommendation 18.1 states that "the BCTF continue to work with the educationcommunity in developing induction and mentorship programs that have thefollowing characteristics:1^local association involvement in the design and operation of theprogram including the selection of mentors;2^training of mentors;3^reduced teaching assignment for the inductee in terms of class,size, composition, subjects or grades and administrativedemands;4^flexible and discretionary planning time;5^ongoing professional development;6^reflection of such professional values as collegiality,collaboration, critical reflection on teaching practice, opencommunication, and professional autonomy;7^adequate funding by the provincial government. (p. 24)More recently, in New Brunswick, (1992) the Report of the Commission onExcellence in Education, Recommendation 1.3 states that,during the first year, a teacher be assigned a light teaching load (whichwould extend to extra-curricular, committee, and supervisory duties),be provided with a mentor teacher chosen for his or her excellence inteaching and for the ability to work well with and to help colleagues,and be given such other support as may be necessary to get off to asuccessful start in teaching (p. 29).These provincial teacher education reports have influenced theestablishment of induction programs in Canada. Similar reports have shaped theactivities in the United States.According to Huling-Austin (1990), a number of national reports from the27mid-1980's addressed the issue of teacher induction and internships. The bestknown of these are the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education'sNCATE Redesign (1985); the Holmes Group report, Tomorrow's teachers (1986); andthe Carnegie Forum report, A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century (1986).All three reports recommend a supported induction period for beginning teachers.The NCATE Redesign (1985) suggests that the teacher education institutionmaintain and develop relationships with its graduates and provide assistance to firstyear teachers when needed.The Holmes Group (1986) proposes that beginning teacher support systems becarried out through an induction year consisting of a year-long, paid, and well-supervised internship. The Carnegie Forum report (1986) recommends thedevelopment of a new professional curriculum in graduate schools of educationand which leads to a Master in Teacher degree, based on systematic knowledge ofteaching, including internships and residencies in the schools.In the Association of Teacher Educators' Blue Ribbon Task Force report,Visions of Reform: Implications for the Education Profession (1986), an explicitrecommendation related to teacher induction was also made.According to Huling-Austin (1990), it is clear from these national reports thatthe issue of teacher induction is firmly planned in the national spotlight ofeducational reform. Huling-Austin (1990) describes that many of these "teacherinduction programs were collaborative in nature and involved two or moresponsoring educational agencies including local school districts, colleges anduniversities, regional educational service agencies, and state departments ofeducation" (p. 538).28Induction has become a focus in education and this is evident in the numberof theme issues from many educational journals which include: EducationalLeadership (1985), Journal of Teacher Education, (1986), Teacher Education, (1986),Kappa Delta Pi Record (1986), Action in Teacher Education (1987), Theory intoPractice (1988), journal of Staff Development, (1990), and Orbit (1991).In the next section, goals and components of induction program are describedas summarized from the literature review.The goals of induction programs vary greatly but in the literature review ofthe research done on induction programs (Huling-Austin et. al., 1989), five typicalgoals included, explicitly or implicitly, in most induction programs or internshipsare to:1^improve teaching performance;2^increase the retention of promising beginning teachers duringthe induction years;3^promote the personal and professional well-being of beginningteachers by improving teachers' attitudes toward themselves andthe profession;4^satisfy mandated requirements related to induction andcertification;5^transmit the culture of the system to beginning teachers (p. 9).Huling-Austin (1988) conducted a research synthesis of 17 studies ofbeginning teacher programs. The practices reported in each study were examined interms of their success in achieving the five goals of induction programs. In thissynthesis she reached four other important conclusions:first, induction programs must remain flexible enough to respond tothe emerging needs of individual beginning teachers. Second , thatsupport/mentor teachers are consistently recognized by participatingbeginning teachers as the most beneficial aspect of the program. Thethird, [there is al link between the difficulty of the initial teachingassignment and the success of beginning teachers.... Fourth, we musteducate individuals both within and outside our profession regardingthe need for beginning teacher programs" (in Hirsh, 1990, p. 3).29To help educational leaders consider the full range of purposes that teacherinduction programs can serve, the April 1987 ERIC Report: Perspectives on TeacherInduction: A Review of the literature and promising program models, highlightssome perspectives found in the current literature on teacher induction. It isorganized around five general purpose statements:1^Address perceived needs of beginning teachers:Johnston & Ryan, 1980; Veenman, 19842^Improve teaching skills of beginning teachers:Ellett & Capie, 1982; Brophy & Good, 1986; Schlechty, 19853^^Integrate beginning teachers into the school community:Tabachnick & Zeichner, 1985; Bird & Little, 1986; Schlechty, 19854^Resolve predictable concerns of beginning teachers:Fuller & Bown, 1975; Hall & Loucks, 1978; Huling-Austin,Putnum & Galvez-Hjornevik (1986).5^Foster adult development of beginning teachers:Glassberg & Sprinthall, 1980; Feinman-Nemser & Floden, 1986;Sprinthall & Thies-Sprinthall, 1983. (ERIC Digest, 1987, p. 9,figure 1)Depending on the selected purpose(s) of the induction program, differentprogram components can be designed. Huling-Austin et. al. (1989) find in theliterature review on teacher induction programs some of these design components:a^printed materials of employment conditions and schoolregulations;b^orientation meetings and visits;c^seminars on curriculum and effective teaching topics forbeginning teachers;d^training sessions for mentor teachers and other supportpersonnel;e^observations by supervisors/peers/assessment teamsand/or videotaping of the beginning teacher in the classroom;f^follow-up conferences with observers;g^consultations with experienced teachers; •h support (helping/buddy/mentor) teachers;i^opportunities to observe other teachers (in person orthrough subject-specific videotapes);j^released time/load reduction for beginning teachersand/or support teachers;k^group meetings of beginning teachers (for emotional support);301^assignment to a team teaching situation;m^credit courses for beginning teachers (university and/orlocal credit);n^beginning teacher newsletters and other publications designedto provide helpful teaching tips for the novice teacher(pp. 14-15).It is unlikely that any single induction program will contain all of thesecomponents, but these represent the building blocks of most programs. Programsvary greatly across sites, depending upon the priorities and resources of theirsponsoring agencies.As to which components are most common, Marshall (1983) attempts toidentify induction program components by surveying 72 districts across. the UnitedStates. She finds that 85% of the programs offer meetings or workshops focussed onbeginning teacher needs prior to the opening of school; 57% assign an experiencedfellow teacher as a "buddy" to the beginning teacher; and 44% provide a handbookcontaining such items as school or district philosophy, practices, and procedures.In addition, Lewis (1980) finds five specific support activities commonlyrecommended in the literature: reduced workloads; release time; opportunities fordiscussion with other beginning teachers; opportunities to observe otherexperienced teachers and to better understand relationships with other staff and thecommunity; and a mentor formally assigned to assist beginning teachers, but not toevaluate them.Similarly, Grant and Zeichner (1981) studied the kind of support activities ininduction programs by surveying 72 first year teachers from a number of districts,representing different grade levels. They categorized their responses in threegroups: formal support (pre-assignment contracts, orientation, in-service); informalsupport (co-workers volunteering information, assistance, or listening to their31concerns); and, job embedded support (release time, reduced class size, exemptionsfrom non-teaching responsibilities, and teacher buddy systems). They concludedthat beginning teachers mostly received formal support.The Association of Teacher Educator's Commission on Teacher Induction(Kester & Marockie, 1987) surveyed 1100 local school systems in 17 states about theirinduction programs and grouped their activities under three general headings:purposes; orientation; and evaluation and assistance. The orientation activitiesprovide beginning teachers with information on such topics as: the history andphilosophy of the district; employment benefits and procedures; school calendar; jobdescriptions; and logistical details on purchasing supplies, duplicating materials,planning and conducting field trips. The evaluation activities focus on informationbeginning teachers needed to know about evaluation criteria and the processes thatwould be used to determine when tenure was earned or advancement wasdeserved. The assistance activities include collegial encouragement, training inclassroom management strategies and discipline procedures, and more long-termprofessional development activities.Out of the 112 programs, Kester and Marockie (1987) report that 96 programsincorporated special in-service activities, 95 programs involved frequentevaluations of beginning teachers and 65 programs assigned "buddy" teachers. The112 induction programs vary in length (one-half day to planned activities over threeyears), are either mandatory or elective, and involve a variety of people (principal,department chairs, experienced teachers etc.,).The most researched component of induction programs is the supportteacher. Research provides a great deal of useful information about the role and32function of the support teacher (who is also referred to as the mentor teacher, buddyteacher, helping teacher, or teacher consultant). Brooks (1987) states that there isreason to believe that the assignment of an appropriate support teacher may well bethe most powerful and cost-effective intervention in an induction program. HulingAustin, Putman, and Galvez-Hjornevik (1986) suggest a number of factors that cangreatly contribute to the success of the beginning teacher/support teacherarrangement. These factors include:1^selecting a highly competent experienced teacher who iswilling to serve as a support teacher;2^both teachers teaching in the same discipline with one or morecommon preparations;3^having the teachers' classrooms located in close proximity toeach other;4^having common planning period;5^pairing teachers with compatible professional ideologies; and6^pairing teachers with compatible personalities (p. 14).They acknowledge that it will not always be possible to employ all thesecriteria when pairing beginning teachers with support teachers, but whenever thesefactors can be incorporated when making assignments, success of the arrangementsis likely to be facilitated.The role of the mentor or supervisor appears to be crucial. According toWildman (1985), "a mentor should be an opener or doors, a role model, a confidant,and a successful leader. Most of all, the mentor should be dedicated to the success ofthe protege" (p. 31). In a survey of 290 new teachers participating in a beginningteacher program, Huffman and Leak (1986) find that it is important to have mentorswith knowledge and experience in the same subject, specialty, or grade level as thenovice teachers they assisted. Respondents of this survey also suggest that adequatetime for informal planning and conversations between mentors and beginning33teachers is valuable. Huling-Austin (1985) suggests that experienced teachers canprovide assistance in three ways to beginning teachers: impromptu conversations;prearranged conferences; and classroom observations.In a telephone interview with 205 beginning teachers, Yosha (1991)determines that "85% respond that the mentor teachers makes a real difference inthe beginning teacher becoming a more competent teacher" (p. 2). In addition, in afocus group discussion with 20 beginning teachers, Yosha (1991) finds that"emotional and moral support are the number one most valuable role that thementors provide for the beginning teachers" (p. 3). These previous findings arereinforced by Fox and Singletary (1986) who state that it is just as important for anew teacher to relate closely and substantively to his or her peers as to a mentor."Frequently, regular meetings with individuals who are experiencing similarsituations and problems provide new teachers with an opportunity to exchangeviews. These exchanges can also minimize feelings of isolation" (p. 41). Thus, it isimportant to have a forum for beginning teachers to meet to interact and discussfirst year teaching experiences.Thus from the literature, components of induction programs are influencedby the identified concerns of beginning teachers in their specific contexts. A trulyreactive induction support program will track the changing concerns of newteachers continuously over time and appropriately adjusts the nature of the supportoffered in an attempt to encourage teaching expertise (Odell, 1986b).Odell (1987b) raises three issues that induction program developers shouldconsider: formal program structure, personnel and pedagogical content. Astructural consideration might be in identifying who is responsible for the program34initiation and implementation. She advises that "no matter which agency initiatesthe program, it is desirable for states' boards of education, local school districts, andcolleges of education to cooperate... so that any resultant program will offerintegrated support involving evaluation, orientation and developmentalcomponents" (p. 73). Personnel considerations might be in identifying who is a newteacher and who can be a support teacher. Pedagogical considerations might includeidenifying the role of the support teacher (assistance versus assessment),determining the content of the training program for mentors, and determining thecontent of the support for the beginning teachers.From the literature review thus far, it appears that induction programs can bean important aspect to consider in supporting beginning teachers. Huling-Austin(1986b) suggests that such programs can reasonably be expected to attain the fivegoals of induction programs identified earlier in this chapter, but she points out thatinduction programs cannot reasonably be expected to:• overcome major problems in the school context such asmisplacements, overloads, overcrowded classes etc.;• develop into successful teachers those beginning teachers who enterthe profession without the background, ability, personal andcharacteristics necessary to constitute the potential to beacceptable teachers; or• substantially influence the long-term retention of teachers in theprofession if additional changes are not made in the educationalsystem at large (p. 5).Thus, beginning teacher support programs should be viewed as a susbstantialstrategy for reducing the high rate of attrition amongst teachers in the early years oftheir teaching careers. But many other programs, incentives, and changes in schoolsand in teachers' career experiences should also be considered when anycomprehensive plan to reduce overall attrition is considered (Smith-Davis &35Cohen, 1989).A model to guide the development of teacher induction programs isproposed by Huling-Austin and Murphy (1987). Induction success is described as afunction of the beginning teacher, the context, and the support program (p. 38):Induction Success = f(BT x Context x Support program)This model suggests an individualized approach to induction, but this is not tosuggest that it is necessary to design a totally different induction program for eachbeginning teacher.Before concluding the literature review on teacher induction, it is importantto remember Griffin's (1985) findings that the bulk of research is descriptive. Thesestudies have contributed positively to understanding the needs and concerns ofbeginning teachers but we need to do more research in other areas. He raises thesefive issues for consideration:1^We must determine to what degree do research findings, whenused as content for teacher induction programs, accomplish thesame pupil outcomes as are reported in the original correlationsstudies.2^We must find out, from a variety of perspectives, if teacherinduction programs contribute to or hinder new teachers'estimations of their own efficacy, and whether or not aperceived sense of efficacy is related to effectiveness.3^We must discover the degree to which teacher inductionprograms do, in fact, serve as a "gatekeeping" function, sortingmore effective teachers into schools and less effective teachersout.4^We must determine whether or not the procedures and practicesassociated with teacher induction programs are, as is claimed,valid and reliable.5^We must gain a better understanding of the ways in whichcurrent and proposed induction programs align withconceptions of excellence in teaching (pp. 45-46).Ashburn (1987) agrees with Griffin and cautions induction programdevelopers to consider these issues. These questions are critical and provide helpful36directions for research. Griffin states that "we can increase our knowledge aboutteacher induction and develop induction programs with greater certainty of successif we ask effective research questions and use an appropriate blend of qualitative andquantitative research methods to answer these questions" (p. 42). Other educatorshave suggested critical needs in induction research. McCaleb (1985) points out thatrelatively few studies have been conducted which investigate the effects of specificinduction interventions, and very little research has been conducted to test thecumulative effects of specific induction programs. Brook (1987), stresses that it iscritical research on induction programs involving multiple factors operating inmultiple contexts be conducted from a variety of perspectives, using multipleapproaches and methodologies.In addition, it seems that only a few studies have begun to look at theinfluence of context on the teacher induction process (Murphy & Huling-Austin,1987). Zeichner (1982) points out that attempts to influence the performance ofbeginning teachers should recognize the importance of the conditions in theworkplace and recommends viewing induction as a reciprocal process betweenindividuals and institutions.Fox and Singletary (1986) point out that few induction programs emphasizethe development of a "reflective orientation and the skills necessary to self-evaluation" (p. 12). Another issue is the potential for confusing "assessment" with"evaluation" in an induction experience:An effective mentoring process is built on a foundation of mutualtrust. The objective of the process is assistance. Both are placed inserious jeopardy if the mentor is saddled with evaluationresponsibilities. Assessment, however, is an important part of thementoring process which allows the protege self-criticism anddirection for improvement. Programs can resolve this conflict by37appointing separate evaluators or evaluation teams which meet withthe protoge and mentor to discuss the performance evaluations (ERICDigest, 1986c, p. 1).Collectively, these cautionary voices are extremely valuable to the professionin determining both the direction and focus for future research efforts related toteacher induction.Before concluding this chapter, one additional perspective on teaching shouldbe introduced, "teaching as managing dilemmas" (Cuban, 1992), and oneperspective needs to be re-identified: "teacher education as a continuous process"(Fullan & Connelly, 1987; Huling-Austin, 1990; Fullan, 1991).2.3 Perspectives on teachingTwo perspectives will be discussed in this section to provide a context forchapters three, four and five.2.3.1 Teaching as managing dilemmasVeenman (1984), considers a problem "a difficulty that beginning teachersencounter in the performance of their task, so that intended goals may be hindered"(p. 143). Cuban (1992), agrees with this definition and states that "problems are fairlyroutine, structured situations that produce some level of conflict because a desiredgoal is blocked..." (p. 6). Thus, from Veenman and Cuban, it appear that there areimplied solutions to problems. However, Cuban also suggests that in teaching,there are problems that have no solution no matter how much experience one has.He calls these problems "dilemmas" and defines them as "conflict-filled situationsthat require choices because competing, highly prized values cannot be fullysatisfied... [and] tensions surface when there is insufficient time to accommodate38these values.... Dilemmas, then involve choices, often moral ones. They end upwith good-enough compromises, not neat solutions..." (pp. 6-7).Given this definition of a dilemma, it appears that with these "good-enoughcompromises" among values, we must continuously renegotiate the outcomes.Thus, as Cuban suggests, "we end up managing recurring dilemmas, not solvingproblems" (1992, pp. 6-7). Futhermore, Cuban suggests that educators whorepeatedly failed to solve problems are left with "a debris of disappointment, evencynicism" (p. 9). To avoid feeling this guilt of failure, he proposes that manyeducational problems without solutions be reframed as "dilemmas". Thus,teaching is about managing dilemmas.2.3.2 Teacher education as a continous processThe second perspective shared by many researchers (Fullan & Connelly, 1987;Huling-Austin, 1990; Fullan, 1991), and was introduced in the previous section, isthat teacher education is a continous process and should be view to be on acontinuum: pre-service >induction >in-service. This perspective impliesthat there needs to be opportunities for collaboration amongst educational agenciesto provide the optimum teacher education.Cuban (1992), maintains that in teaching, we should view our collective workas a means for "building professional communities". Cuban is distressed by thecurrent "absence of community among educators engaged in teaching" (p. 9) anddescribes three competing groups of educators caught up in conflicts.Over the last century, at least three overlapping cultural values havecreated conflicts. The university culture, prizing the values ofreflection, rigorous analysis, and scientifically produced research,39competes against values within a professional school of applyingdisciplinary knowledge to practical situations in order to prepare thenext generation of teachers, administrators, and researchers. Both setsof values embedded in university structures compete against anotherset of values within schools. There action is prized. The knowledgethat is admired is concrete, relevant, drawn from experience, andapplied to the practical dilemmas of teaching and learning (Clifford &Guthrie, 1988; Goodlad, 1990, cited in Cuban, 1992, p. 9).Cuban concludes that as a result of these competing values, there is a "stuntedsense of community among educational researchers and practitioners" (p. 9). Cubanwonders whether this "trilemma" can be "reframed to seek another basis forenhanced professionalism?" He is concerned about the need to "create intellectualcommunities among practitioners and professors that develop shared standards ofteaching practice, and engage in sustained conversations over dealing with ourcommon moral dilemmas" (p. 9) and suggests that the common ground that joinsteachers, teacher educators and researchers is the fact that teaching is ridden withdilemmas.Teaching requires making concrete choices among competing valuesfor vulnerable others who lack the teacher's knowledge and skills, whoare dependent upon the teacher for access to both, and who will bechanged by what the teacher teaches, how it is taught, and who thatteacher is (Dewey, 1923; Fenstermacher, 1990; Floden & Clark, 1988;Greene, 1986; Jackson, 1986; Schon, 1983; Sockett, 1991; Soder, 1990;Tom, 1984; cited in Cuban, 1992, p. 9).Cuban reasons that if teaching is a blend of the practical and the moral andthat it is a continuous coping with enduring dilemmas, then the three cultures ofuniversity researchers, professors in schools of education and classroom teachers,can work together as members of an intellectual community to deal with thesedilemmas. Cuban (1992) states that,serious scholarly examination of the uncertainties, ambiguities, andmoral dilemmas of teaching students at different levels of formalschooling is precisely one basis for assembling intellectualcommunities among educators. Such collaborative inquiry into core40teaching activities common to all levels of schooling invigorated byrespect of professors for wise practitioners and of practitioners forthoughtful professors could forge coherent communities ofresearchers, professional educators, and practitioners (p. 10).Fullan (1991) also supports this perspective. These perspectives "teaching asmanaging dilemmas" and "teacher education as a continuous process", imply thatall educators have opportunities to work together to manage dilemmas whilebuilding professional communities.2.4 SummaryThe literature review provides an appropriate context for the study whichwill be described in the next few chapters. The review provides a brief summary ofperceived problems of beginning teachers, an awareness of the goals andcomponents of induction programs, and raises issues around the design andimplementation of induction programs.In the next part of the thesis, a research study which involves six beginningteachers in an induction program is described. Their perceptions as first yearteachers in an induction program provide insights into determining the value ofthe program in supporting them in their transition from student teachers toclassroom teachers.41Chapter 3Methodology^3.0^IntroductionThe purpose of the study is to gain more insight into beginning teachers'experiences teaching (in terms of their concerns, level of support, and dilemmasencountered) and to understand their perceptions of the value of the inductionprogram that was designed to support them in their first year of teaching. In thischapter, two major aspects are described: the context of the study, and thedescription of the study. The context describes where the study took place and thecharacteristics of the induction program; the description of the study includes adiscussion of the recruitment process, a description of the research team, and themethodology involved in the collection and analysis of the data.^3.1^The Context - Setting for the StudyWellington School District is a medium-sized urban school district whichemploys approximately 1300 teachers. During the 1991/92 school year, 85 beginningteachers were hired to the Wellington School District. All of these teachersparticipated in the Wellington School District's Beginning TeacherInduction/Mentoring Program. In this district, there are a total of nine secondaryschools and forty elementary schools.Six of the 85 beginning teachers volunteered to be participants in this study.Four of them were employed in elementary schools while two of them wereemployed in secondary schools. Details of each of these schools and of each42participant will be given in Chapter four preceding each of the mini-case studies.The purpose of the Wellington School District's Beginning TeacherInduction/Mentoring Program was to support all beginning teachers as they madethe transition from the university to the school. Specifically, the three goals were:1^to provide a stimulating and supportive introduction to the teachingprofession;2^to create an environment of professional dialogue in which allparticipants become reflective co-learners; and3^to provide support with management issues.Participants in this induction program included beginning teachers, mentorteachers, professional development chairs, administrators, members of the districtresource team, area superintendents, and representatives from the teachers'association. The induction activities were monitored by the Wellington SchoolDistrict Beginning Teacher Induction Advisory Committee.The program had both district-organized and school-based components.Participants were invited to attend district workshops on topics identified bybeginning teachers while school teams provided information, resources and supportfor specific needs (such as co-planning, classroom visits, peer coaching, peerobservation, and workshop attendance). The District supported both components byproviding funds for classroom release and through the members of the districtresource team.The District component of the induction program began with a two dayorientation to the District in late August 1991. This event was designed to enablenew teachers to meet each other and district personnel, help them set goals for thefirst term, review basic classroom management, and establish personal priorities. Abeginning teacher handbook was distributed which contained information about43district personnel and resources, as well as information participants might finduseful in their work.A full day introductory session was offered in the second week of Septemberwith the expectation that all teachers and administrators involved in the programattend. Administrators attended the early morning segment, mentors attendeduntil lunch and beginning teachers attended the full day. Throughout the year, avariety of workshops were offered on topics identified by the beginning teachers.Topics for term one included: classroom management; ways of working together;assessment; and cmmunicating with parents. Topics for term two includedplanning for diversity and active learning. These topics were selected based onparticipants' feedback. Each district session was offered three times: two morningsand one after school for any teacher (beginning, mentor and others who wereinterested). Members of the district resource team organized and presented thesesessions and were available for follow-up. Two sharing sessions in January 1992were organized for participants from different schools so they could discuss districtand school programs, concerns and interests.Evaluation of the induction program was both formative and summative.Data were collected from all participants. Formative evaluation took the form ofworkshop evaluations, questionnaires, sharing sessions, and reports fromadministrators. Summative evaluation occurred in three forms: a survey sent inMay to all participants to determine what they found valuable about the programand what changes they would suggest; a sharing session in June; and a finalevaluation conducted by the Wellington School District Beginning TeacherInduction Advisory Committee.443.2^Description of the StudyThis section describes the recruitment process, research team andmethodology.3.2.1 Recruitment ProcessThe volunteers for this study were recruited at the full day introductorysessions in September. The information pertaining to the study was described(purpose, time commitment, confidentiality, methodology) and a letter of requestwas distributed to interested beginning teachers. Interested participants were askedto complete and return a consent form (see Appendix A for the recruitment letterand consent form). Six of the 85 beginning teachers volunteered to participate in thestudy by returning their signed consent form. The criteria for selection was basedon the beginning teacher volunteering for participation as indicated by a signedconsent form. All six volunteers were accepted and were sent a letter ofconfirmation (which reviewed the study's purpose, confidentiality, methodology,interview schedule; see Appendix B). Pseudonyms were selected for each volunteerto ensure confidentiality. Of these six volunteers, four of them (Katey, Leigh,Margaret, and Sue) were elementary school teachers and two of them (Susan andTracy) were secondary school teachers. All six volunteers were female.3.2.2 ResearchersIn this study, two researchers were involved in collecting the data. Nadinewas a research assistant (and a doctoral candidate), and I was a teacher consultant(and a member of the Wellington School District resource team). Nadine collected45interview data from four of the six participants while I collected interview data fromthe other two participants. Nadine and I worked closely together to design theinterview questions and met to reflect on the interview experience after each set ofinterviews. This collaborative research relationship was effective. Throughout thestudy communication of thoughts, ideas, and feelings about the various aspects ofthe study, was done through regular telephone conversations and meetings.3.2.3 Data Collection and AnalysisData were gathered through, what Yin (1989) terms, focussed interviews.Focussed interviews allow the interviewer/researcher to engage in an indepthconversation with the interviewee/participant around a series of focus questions.This methodology was best suited to the study's purpose which was to gain insightsinto beginning teachers' experiences (perceived concerns, nature of the supportreceived, and dilemmas encountered). Focussed interviews provided theopportunity to hear their perceptions and to get elaborations to clarify theexperiences when necessary; other forms of data collection (like questionnaires)would not have provided this flexibility. Four interviews were conducted with eachof the six participants over an eight month period (see Appendix C for the interviewschedule). The first set of interviews was conducted in October 1991, the second inDecember 1991, the third in late February/early March 1992, and the fourth and finalin May 1992. All interviews were prearranged between the researcher and theparticipant and each lasted between 25 to 60 minutes. All interviews wereconducted either before or during the school day and took place in a quiet locationwhenever possible so that interviews were uninterrupted and free of distraction.46This usually occurred in the participants' respective classrooms. Each interview wassemi-structured and was guided by, but not limited to, a series of previouslyprepared general questions by the researchers (see Appendix D for the guidingquestions). These guiding questions were designed to focus rather than limit thediscussion. Thus, the interviews remained "open-ended and assumed aconversational manner" (Yin, 1984, p. 89).All interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed verbatim (see AppendixE for a sample set of four consecutive interviews with Leigh). There were 24transcripts in total and they were all analyzed inductively. Each set of interviewtranscripts were colour coded (yellow=interview 1; blue=interview 2;pink=interview 3; green=interview 4). The responses in each transcript were thenexamined and categorized into groups. A matrix of categories was identified andthe evidence from the transcripts was placed within these categories. A visualdisplay of the data was constructed on charts for easy identification of majorcategories; for each chart, four columns of data were established as a result of thefour interviews with each participant. Themes were constructed across the fourinterviews for each participant. The way in which themes were constructed wasbased on the evidence found over all four interviews (i.e., it was a "theme" if theissue, concern or dilemma persisted throughout the year and was discussed in allfour interviews). This criteria was used because it represented the experiencesencountered by each participant that seemed to be immediate and relevant to eachof them over the four interviews. Thus, themes were identified based on thefrequency of the responses given by the participants. The limitation of theseinterviews was that the data provided only a snapshot of experiences rather than47details of the whole year's experience. Also, the accuracy of the data was based onthe ability of the participant to recall and articulate experiences. At the conclusionof the study, the audiotapes were erased.The data for each teacher were then written up in a case study format.According to Yin (1984), "a case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates acontemporary phenomenon within its real-life context...." (p. 23). This format waschosen because the study attempted to provide an opportunity for the participantsto tell their own stories about their experiences as first year teachers in an inductionprogram.In the next chapter, each of these stories is told. Each mini-case descriptionbegins with the context of the teaching situation and then identifies the themes ofexperiences over the four interviews. Each theme summarizes a perceived concern,an aspect of support, or a dilemma encountered. In Chapter five, common themesof experiences amongst all six beginning teachers in the Wellington School District'sBeginning Teacher Induction/Mentoring Program are described. In addition, therewill be a discussion on the value of the induction program.48Chapter 4The Teachers4.0^IntroductionIn this chapter, the results of the data analysis of the six mini-case studies willdescribe the perceived experiences of each of the six first year teachers in theWellington School District's Beginning Teacher Induction/Mentoring Program.Preceding each case will be a brief description of the context for that beginningteacher. Then there will be a description of identified themes that emerged from theanalysis of the transcripts over the four interviews for each case. As described inChapter three, a theme was identified if the issue, concern or dilemma persistedthroughout the year and was discussed in all four interviews. Identified themesranged from two to four per case study. The themes were linked to the study'sresearch focus: what are the perceptions of six beginning teachers participating in aDistrict Induction Program about their experiences teaching (e.g. what types ofsupport did they receive in their schools from the program), and what are thebeginning teachers' perceptions of the value of the District-wide component of theInduction Program on beginning teachers. In each case study, the beginning teacherprovided a glimpse into her experiences: perceived concerns, level of support, anddilemmas encountered.4.1 Case One: KateyThis case study was based on the first year teaching experiences of Katey.Katey was 26 years old and taught in Tomoguchi Elementary School. This small49elementary school enrolled 200 students and had a teaching staff of eleven. Duringthis first year of teaching, Katey taught a multi-aged class of students ages 7 to 9. Shetaught the Primary Program [which is one of three Education Programs proposed inBritish Columbia. In this four year Primary Program, first year is equivalent toKindergarten, second year is equivalent to grade one, etc.; the other two programsare Intermediate (grades 4-10) and Graduation (grades 11-12)1 and therefore her 23students were in primary years 3/4 (grades 2/3).Three themes were identified during Katey's first year of teaching whichaffected her experience as a beginning teacher. These themes were: supportiverelationships; loneliness; and stress.4.1.1 Theme one - supportive relationshipsKatey had a very enjoyable first year of teaching and two factors made thispossible. She did not experience any classroom management problems and she hada strong supportive relationship with her mentor, Louise.Katey: I would rate my first year of teaching as an eight. The classthat have is the major highlight. It's a wonderful groupof kids. It's been a rewarding experience.... I felt verysupported by my mentor. She was great. She was justacross the hall. I could go to her for anything. She alwayslistened. Whenever I needed resources she would alwaysborrow them from other teachers. (Interview 4)Katey felt the mentorship concept was a very good one and appreciated theschool district for establishing the induction program. Katey was first hired at abigger school (450 students) but during the second week of September, due tounexpected lower student numbers at that school, she said she was "shuffled" to thesmaller school of Tomoguchi Elementary. However, before that shuffle, she had50met up with her first mentor, Alison, who supported Katey during the summer andthe first weeks of September.Katey: The one thing I found that was really helpful was that mymentor teacher got in touch with me in August.... We hadalready started planning our year together so it wasalready like I was part of the staff.... I am a new teacher,and you just feel so lost and so alone. It's so nice to havethat someone who is there and is from your school....And with Alison and I , because we were going to be teamteaching, we planned quite extensively. (Interview 1)Changing school was an awful experience for Katey but she chose anothermentor, Louise at this second school. Louise was also very supportive and herclassroom was across the hall. Katey commented that "we are working alottogether... I am teaching grades 2/3 and my mentor is teaching grades 3/4.... Louiseand I hit it off right away and we've done some team teaching" (Interview 1).Thus, despite the different ages of students, Katey and Louise had a group ofoverlapping grade 3 students. Katey was supported by Louise and together theycollaborated in planning activities.Katey: We share alot of resources. And she's been in to observeme. We've done a cooperative learning activity withboth of our classes combined which worked out reallywell.... We're both doing the theme of spiders right now,so we are always consulting one another. (Interview 1)Katey felt that if she were to receive any support this year, it would have hadto be "more directly from the school and I think I need that kind of support fromLouise and the other staff members" (Interview 2). She expressed that she receivedmuch support from other staff members, specifically from the other primaryteachers. Katey commented, "there's four of us in the primary wing who arehere late until 7, 8 or 9 o'clock at night and so we talk alot and discuss what we'regoing to be doing next day" (Interview 1).51With reference to support from her administrator, during the secondinterview, Katey expressed some concerns due to his busy schedule.Katey:^He's been in to observe me once so far.... I think theprincipal has to make a real effort to know what's goingon in the classroom because he is so busy and sometimes Ican't catch him... I make meetings with him and he's offsomewhere else and that happens quite frequentlyactually and I'm not sure what the solution is.(Interview 2)In addition, Katey felt that the administration should be more "sensitive" tothe pressures of beginning teachers.Katey:^He's difficult to approach sometimes when I have concerns....[I am] not getting as much support from myadministrator.... I think my mentor teacher was moreprepared for dealing with me than both my administratorswere. There are pressures that both I and another firstyear teacher are having. I don't think that they realize orthey have forgotten what it's like to be a first year teacher.And they are so busy with their own administrative dutiesthat I think we are sometimes forgotten about. (Interview3)Linked to this, arose another concern. It dealt with school behaviour.Apparently, there seemed to be a school-wide problem with, what Katey called,"rowdy" conduct by older students in the hallway and it seemed that nothing wasbeing done. Katey and several primary teachers initiated a staff discussion on theproblem.Katey:^I had some concerns with the discipline in the school.There were a couple of other people in the school whoalso had the same kind of concerns and we formed acommittee and went to the administrator and things werechanged... it was an awkward thing but we felt that theway things were going at the school, we needed to voiceour concerns.... As a first year teacher, I didn't know if Iwas stepping on toes... I didn't think I was received verywell. But anyways, that's the way it goes. I'm trying tomake the environment a better place, a safer place for the52kids. (Interview 3)This concern about school discipline and creating a better environment forstudents demonstrated Katey's philosophy of care and respect for children. Theprimary teachers supported her as she brought this to the attention of the other staffmembers and the administration but as was described, she didn't feel she was wellperceived. During the last interview, she expressed how much this problemdistressed her, "it's good to go into my room and not be involved in all of this otherstuff that's happening in the school. That's the lowpoint [of my first year]"(Interview 4).4.1.2 Theme two: lonelinessDespite the collaboration Katey experienced with her mentor Louise, therewere times she still felt lonely. This concern was expressed several times andmainly resulted from the fact that she was teaching in a small school where therewas no other grades 2/3 teacher to specifically co-plan units with.Katey: It can be lonely sometimes. A very lonely job especiallywhen there's not another 2/3 classroom teacher in theschool.... It's hard. I don't , have another teacher to talk toand it's my first year. It would be so nice if I were in aschool, where I had another teacher who was teaching thesame grade level. (Interview 3)This feeling of loneliness was amplified when her principal was suppose toarrange for her to visit other schools and due to his busy schedule, it didn't happen.In addition, her principal frustrated Katey by forgetting to introduce her to a fewschool routines. For example,Katey: Sometimes I do feel abit alone and I'm not too sure whereto go for alot of things... I didn't even find out until thelast day that we were supposed to fill out the white cardsfor the attendance. No one explained it to me... there are53some things that I think there could have been alittle bitmore effort to inform myself and the other beginningteacher about. But it's just because people are so busy.And they assume we know and we don't know.(Interview 2)Thus, Katey experienced isolation and loneliness in this small school.Compounding this were her feelings of being safer in her classroom away from allthis "other stuff that's happening in the school."4.1.3 Theme three: stress/burnoutSeveral times this first year, Katey expressed feelings of being overwhelmedand stressed. She was frustrated in not finding the time to go to the districtworkshops or to visit other schools. In addition, with all the school-based activitiesof student-led conferences, report cards, Open House, and frequent late hours ofplanning, she was becoming drained, tired and stressed.Katey was concerned about eventual burnout.Katey:^I'm concerned that teachers are worked too hard... I realizethat this is my first year but I think there should be moretime off. On the professional development days, it's greatto have all these workshops. It's important for us to growand develop as teachers but we need time to work in ourclassroom too. I don't have enough of that. I stay lateevery night as it is. I come early and there's still neverenough time to do all the things that I want to do. I knowit will get better over time. You hear of all those teachersburning out and I don't want to be one of them.(Interview 3)Katey's initial perceptions about teaching was that it was going to be a greatdeal of work but she had no idea it was going to be like this, so overwhelming. Hermain concern was that "teaching should not take over your life".Katey:^My perceptions of what the workload was going to be, wasway off. I didn't realize it was this much work, but theysay that first year teaching is always like that. It's hard. I54get really tired and I try not to let if affect my teaching but Idon't have another life right now. Teaching is my wholelife. I don't feel resentful but I think if it continued fortwo or three years like this, I don't know if I would be ableto teach five or ten years down the road. I think that Iwould burn out. (Interview 3)Furthermore, Katey was surprised by the amount of planning that wasrequired in teaching.Katey:^I didn't realize how difficult and time consuming it wouldbe. I thought I could order materials from the mediacenter but it's not the case at In primary you have todevelop your own resources. That's something I learned.(Interview 3)The multi-aging aspect of the Primary Program also perplexed Katey.Katey:^[I'm finding the grades] 2/3 split to be really difficult to dealwith at times, because there is such a range of abilities. Asa new teacher it certainly would have been easier to dealwith a straight grade...I'm finding the multi-aging verydifficult, very challenging... but I'm managing as best I canand I'm trying to be flexible and I'm trying new things allthe time. I'll try what works and for what doesn't work,I'll disregard it and try something else. But it's hard.(Interview 2)Upon reflection, Katey felt that the worst experience this year occurred at thestart of the year when she had to change schools.Katey:^The worst part of teaching was having to move from oneschool to another.... They moved me because of ninestudents that they needed in the school.... I didn't knowwhat grade I was going to be teaching and where I wasgoing. I felt totally lost...that was a really bad experiencefor me. (Interview 1)4.1.4 SummaryKatey survived this first year because of her mature, optimistic, and survivalattitude about teaching. In addition, she had confidence in herself to create apositive climate, free of problems, inside her own classroom.55Katey:^I think that my expectations are quite high. I set them highfor a reason, I think that children will work best whenthey know what your expectations are. So far they areliving up to them. I don't have any managementproblems in this class. (Interview 1)Furthermore, she received a great deal of support from her mentor Louise,and from other staff members. These supportive relationships helped Kateyovercome the concerns of feeling lonely, stressed, tired, and overworked. After allthis, Katey was able to have a good feeling about teaching. In her final interview sheemphasized that collaboration was the key to survival.Katey:^I think meeting with other teachers is very important. I'velearned that this year.... [For beginning teachers,remember] if something is bothering you, go and talk tosomeone. Feel free to talk amongst each other. To shareideas. It's so much better. (Interview 4)4.2 Case Two: LeighThis case study was based on the first year teaching experiences of Leigh.Leigh was 26 years old and taught at Woodsmith Elementary School. It was a smallFrench Immersion school which enrolled 460 students and had 24 teachers. Duringthis first year of teaching, Leigh taught 26 children ages 5, 6 and 7 participated in theEnglish program of the school. Her students were in years 1/2 (Kindergarten/grade1) of the new Primary Program. Prior to employment in this district, she substitutedfor two months in various multi-aged classrooms in two other school districts. Inaddition, she worked as a children's aid in a mental health clinic and had worked insocial services where she gained experience in dealing with parents.Four themes were identified during Leigh's first year of teaching whichaffected her experience as a beginning teacher. The themes were: supportive56relationships; stress from dealing with parents; teaching philosophy and "beingunaware".4.2.1 Theme one: supportive relationshipsLeigh experienced a very strong beginning teacher/mentor teacherrelationship in her first year of teaching. She had two mentor teachers, Sue andJamie. Their classrooms were very close to Leigh's and were in the primary wing ofthe school. Sue had taught for ten years and currently taught year 2/3's (grades 1/2)while Jamie was in her second year and currently taught year 3/4's (grades 2/3).Leigh, Sue and Jamie worked together as a team in planning experiences for theirstudents in the new Primary Program. Leigh said, "I have two mentors and they areincredible. Just amazing. I'm working on multi-aging with my mentors. So weactually combine three classes" (Interview 1).Leigh valued and appreciated these collaborative relationships. Her mentorswere very helpful and provided her with emotional support.Leigh:^I mean I can just go and ask them anytime for help.... It'smuch better... in talking to Sue and Jamie, I get ideas that Ihadn't thought of before and sometimes those ideas don'trequire quite as much work. (Interview 2)Leigh credited both Jamie. and Sue for influencing her teaching practice thisyear and saw "things that I never thought I could do in grade one working and Ithink that comes from Sue and Jamie" (Interview 1). Jamie influenced Leigh'smath program.Jamie:^We're doing alot of hands-on math. Math is incredible. Ilove math and I came from a practicum where math wasvery teacher directed, right out of a textbook,worksheets.... [I spoke to Jamie] and she said "we usescrapbooks. We do all our math in scrapbooks and allow57the kids to draw in their scrapbook or glue or whatever."(Interview 1)Leigh felt that Sue had made the most difference in supporting her andexplained, "probably because she's had all this experience and she's so calm andwise... she's seen it all and she's seen so many changes. She started with the basalreaders and all of that... she's very much in favour of [the new] changes" (Interview4).Not only did her mentors share ideas, and plan units with Leigh, they bothmodelled a successful student-centered approach to learning in their respectiveclassrooms. This approach was not what Leigh had experienced in both herpracticum and teacher preparation. Instead of textbook math, they encouragedhands-on math. In addition to this modelling, both mentors encouraged Leigh tohave a balanced life and that meant not staying at the school all evening. It meanthaving a personal life outside of the classroom. Leigh commented, "Sue's a goodinfluence on me that way because we are going to aerobics together so when she sayswe're leaving at 4:30, we're leaving.... Sue and Jamie try to scare me out of here.I'm here at 7 o'clock [in the morning]" (Interview 2).In addition to the support from her two mentors, Leigh was also supportedby: her husband, who would obtain supplies and make her classroom materials;her teaching buddy, whose grades 4/5's did buddy activities with her K/1's; hergirlfriend at another school teaching the same level, who planned with her onseveral occasion; and her administrators, who arranged regular release time for herand her mentors to plan units. For Leigh, the emotional support from these peoplemade the difference in her surviving this year.Leigh:^The emotional support is great.... That's why I think the58[district induction] mentoring program is so good... youcan find the stuff anywhere, like you can go out and buy abook...and get your ideas... but if you don't have thatsupport, it doesn't matter how much materials you have,you are not going to survive.... The teachers in this schoolare very supportive of one another and they are willing togive you ideas and support... when they pass by and makea comment about your room, that brightens your wholeday.... I can get material anywhere. [I] can go and spend[my] money buying stuff, but the people are making thedifference! (Interview 2)4.2.2 Theme two: stress from dealing with parentsA major concern that stressed Leigh the entire year was dealing with parents.In September, Leigh was very frustrated by parents who questioned her abilitiesbecause she was a first year teacher.Leigh: I'm not stressed now [October], but that first month wasawful. I had neurotic parents with all their concernscoming. I think alot of parents are concerned about firstyear teachers and whether or not you're capable.... Thatfirst month was a nightmare, because I would never everdream that anyone would question what I was doing....I'm left to my little dreamworld and thought...they aregoing to love me. They are going to know that I am theteacher. Of course they think that I am capable. No onewill ever question this.... And what ends up happening isthat for some parents, they see you as a first year teacher....All of a sudden they had these grave concerns.... I hadsome really crazy parents and we had a whole lynchingceremony but I mean.... I think if I were another person, Iprobably would not have handled it quite as well.... Ipotentially could have been packing my suitcase andleaving. (Interview 1)Leigh attributed many of the parents' concerns to them not understandingthe philosophy of the new Primary Program and said "[alot] of parents will come inand say "how come you don't correct their spelling... what do you think you aredoing here... how come my kid gets kindergartens in his class?" (Interview 1).Leigh's advice was to prepare beginning teachers to deal with parents who59were going to ask these questions. She suggested that this preparation could occurat both the university and at the district induction workshops. She said, "I thinkthat you need to prepare teachers and let them know "hey, start thinking about whatyou're doing and how you are going to answer, without being defensive, beforethose people come knocking at your door" (Interview 1).Throughout the year, Leigh managed the dilemma of what her programshould look like: should parental expectations influence Leigh's expectations?Parental pressures, her own practicum experiences and teacher training informedher that the "traditional" approach (worksheets, basal readers etc.,) was still evidentin the workplace. Her collaboration with her mentors, her observations of hermentors' successful experiences in their respective classrooms, and her ownphilosophy of learning, influenced what actually occurred in her classroom.Because of Leigh's confidence in herself and her intuition about teaching, herclassroom program reflected her best understanding of what she felt would providethe best learning experiences for her students. Leigh's practice reflected thephilosophy of the new Primary Program which was a hands-on, child-centered,discovery learning approach.Leigh: So many parents have the attitude that teaching is runningoff worksheets and the kids are just sitting there doingthese things and it's not the case at all. Then I run intothe opposite. I run into parents who say "how comeyou're not doing math?" and I say "oh we are doing math.The kids just don't realize it because it looks like we'replaying". Because we're doing so much hands-on mathand there isn't any record of that... there are records butthe records are minimal compared to what we used to do.Before we used to have a big huge math workbook...butwith the new program, the majority of it is hands-on andthere's maybe one or two sheets. (Interview 2)In general, many of the parents were supportive. One parent, however, was60constantly challenging Leigh's approach and was concerned that her son wasn'tgetting his "spelling corrected" or "getting math worksheets to complete".Leigh:^It's just that she's very traditional.... She wants to knowwhy we are not drilling kids on how to spell and all thosesorts of things.... We had a student led conference andthen she and I had another two hour teacher conference...she just couldn't understand why I didn't say anythingnegative about her son. She basically wanted to knowwhy her son's report card was so great. (Interview 2)The situation with this parent escalated during the year and continuallystressed Leigh.Leigh:^Her child got into a fight with another child and I talked tothe parent.... I met the mother with the LearningAssistance teacher...the parent got out of control andslammed her fist onto the table.... I've told her she isn'twelcomed in the class now. When she is in the class sheis negative to kids and other parents. She makes menervous. One day she came in and yelled at me in front ofthe class...then she went out in the hallway to tell otherparents about me and that I was tormenting her son. Myconcern was that I wasn't telling parents about her and Iwant to have a job next year and I don't want parents tohear those things.... My principal was supportive and gaveme an option to report this [incident] to the Board and Ichose to report it. I think a lot of first year teacherswouldn't do this. You are scared to death. I even said tohim, "am I going to be in trouble? Is there some kind ofrepercussion?" (Interview 3)In all of this, Leigh questioned her own conduct and feared the repercussionsof her actions. This fear was real. Leigh felt that much of this stress could have beeneliminated if there were better communication to parents about the philosophy ofthe new Primary Program. She hoped that the school could address thiscommunication by inviting parents to attend evening information sessions.Leigh:^Even though the program has been going for two year,there are many people who don't understand theprogram [and] who hate the program. I don't know howmany questions on spelling I have had to answer until I61was blue in the face.... You have to talk to them [parents]continuously and you have to be able to show them thatthis [program] works. You have to take things out liketheme books and say look at the amount of thinking thisis for a six year old... never mind the spelling...just look atthe quality of the thinking. The spelling will come along.If we attack the kids about their spelling now, thatthinking wouldn't be there. (Interview 3)Leigh felt that the administrators and the teachers should host a forum forthese parents to clarify the new program. This would alleviate the stress sheencountered throughout the year.4.2.3 Theme three: teaching philosophyAs described earlier, Leigh's teaching philosophy of how students learn bestreflected the philosophy of the new Primary Program. Based on her practicumexperiences, university training and observations of her mentors' classrooms, Leighwas able to design her classroom program. She lost "a lot of the structures"(interview 1). She learned from previous experiences and she planned longer unitsof experiences for her students based on theme books, Math and Sciencemanipulatives, and exploration centers. Leigh commented, "today we did mathstation for an entire full hour and they (students) just rotated [through] the stationsand did all this patterning and it was a hoot compared to if I had given them aMathQuest workbook page and said "now colour this square one". That wasincredible!" (Interview 1).Upon reflection, Leigh was so excited about the math discovery boxes hermentors used, that she decided to make science discovery boxes during the summer.Her perception of learning math and science had changed. Now "science and mathhave been the most exciting for me. I hated math and science in school" (Interview624).Leigh was a very optimistic person and believed in the abilities of herstudents.Leigh:^My kids are amazing.... We did this whole indepth study onspiders... they must have worked an hour and a half...theywere so involved. I was just standing there going "I'mkeeping these kids next year".... I'm just so impressed. Ijust was standing there saying "I love these kids". They'reso incredible. (Interview 4)Leigh's philosophy of making learning fun was evident throughout all heractivities from language arts theme books to math and science hands-on activities.Leigh commented that "the most important thing is that if your kids are having funand they enjoy coming to school, then you are doing an excellent job" (Interview 4).She believed in challenging each child and ensuring that each tookresponsibility for his or her own learning.Leigh:^You haTe to give the kids the benefit of the doubt that theyare capable of doing these things... you have to adjust yourexpectations [accordingly]. My dual entry kids that can'thandle the writing, they can still do the thinking in theirtheme books. My ESL kids who don't have a clue of whatwe are doing can still do parts of what's going on.... Myphilosophy is that children need to get responsibility fortheir own learning.... I think it's hard for the kids at first ifthey are not use to that but they do develop thatresponsibility and they carry their learning even furtherthan I could because they know where they want to go.You [just] put the activities out...and they [will] explorethem. (Interview 3)Leigh also believed that students should always be getting surprises and newchallenges throughout the year. This belief was reflected in how she viewed the useof journals and dictionaries.Leigh:^In the beginning I wanted to do it all at once. I chopped upall the books for the learning logs. They are all ready to gobut once I started seeing the kids, I thought "oh there's no63way they can do this. They are going to be sooverwhelmed".... They are just trying to get into theroutines.... I've got dictionaries for them in the cupboards.Well that will be a surprise in January and then thelearning logs will be a surprise [later]. There's alwayssomething that has to be exciting for them. If it's all atonce, then it's overwhelming and it loses the thrill. I'velearn this the hard way because I think I'll just go crazy if Itry to do all this. (Interview 2)Leigh's philosophy of making learning fun and her survival attitude in that"everyday doesn't have to be exhilarating... that you can have matter-of-fact days"(Interview 2) eased the pressure and contributed to her success in her first year.4.2.4 Theme four: "not knowing"Leigh was able to identify several concerns which related specifically tobeginning teachers because of their "lack of knowing". These concerns plagued allteachers but they are especially magnified for first year teachers. The first area ofconcern was the teacher preparation program. As described earlier, Leigh felt thather problems of dealing with parents about the Primary Program would have beenhandled more effectively if she had been warned about the possible confrontationswith parents during her university preparation. In addition, she felt insecure aboutreporting the incident to the School Board because she was a new teacher and didn'twant to lose her job if she were perceived as being negligent. She was unaware ofdistrict policy and individual rights. As described by Leigh, all beginning teacherswere already intimidated by the fact they had no teaching experience and thushadn't proven themselves to the parents or the kids. It seemed that unless you hadconfidence in yourself and a support system, as a beginning teacher you wouldalways be doubting your professional decisions.64Leigh:^Tell [beginning teachers] about parents. This is not doneat the [university]. That has to be done. Public relations isimportant. One of these days you are going to getsomeone who comes into your class and screams at you.Inches from your face. What are you going to do? Youhave to know how to deal with that. (Interview 3)Leigh was also concern that teacher preparation programs did not emphasizethe need for students to discover ideas through "play".Leigh:^A lot of things that you learned at the university... [you] haveto let go of. The teacher could be dynamic, amazing andincredible but you have to give the kids a chance to do[things]... they are going to learn so much more doing iton their own. Let them discover what is happening.Invariably they are better than I am. (Interview 1)Leigh was concern that at the university, you were not encouraged tochallenge students' thinking through long-term units of activities.Leigh:^[University] doesn't tell you about theme books.... I am justamazed at what kids can do and they really do us adisservice at the [university] by not telling us to stretch thekids. [They say] "you are parenting. You are trying tosurvive. Just blast them with bears and then move ontosomething else" and this has absolutely no relevance.This is the wrong advice.... You have to challenge kids.You have to give them information. They are going totell you when they can't handle it. (Interview 3)In addition, Leigh had some fears of her administrator and her experiencedmentor teachers. Theses fears were heightened by the fact that she was a first yearteacher.Leigh:^I think in the beginning, at least in my case, "oh now theprincipal's here". I'm sweating already just as he'swalking in the room.... I think I couldn't have startedworking with Sue and Jamie right in September. I wouldhave felt safer to get away because what they are doing isincredible multi-aging and I'm trying to figure out whatare we going to do tomorrow in math. I'm in a totallydifferent plane. (Interview 1)Leigh also expressed a concern about the lack of supplies and materials for65math and science. Leigh made many of her math materials at home. This created adilemma for Leigh: if you don't have the supplies, do you go without and thereforenot do the activity; or do you spend your own money and buy them; or do you makethe materials you need?Leigh: I need materials.... Science is so incredibly important and itis really frustrating to try to run a science program whenyou don't have any materials.... I don't mind supplyingthings but it gets to the point where you start gettingfrustrated... you want to do something but that materialisn't there. So do you go and buy it or do you modify it orwhat do you do? Or do they go without? Sue has madealot of stuff so she's been lending me her stuff...eventually I'll have to make those things which is justanother thing ontop of everything else that you aremaking. It gets to be a bit much. (Interview 2)Two additional concerns related to this theme of "being unaware" wereschool routines and allocation of supplies. Leigh did not get a tour of the school andwas unaware of all the school's routines and procedures. No one had taken thetime to orient her. This resulted in her being unaware that there was a sign-in bookfor teacher attendance. In addition, she had no idea about the supplies and howmuch was allocated to each teacher. For example, "I only got 15 gluesticks at thebeginning of the year and I thought that was my year's supply" (Interview 3). Whenshe told her mentor, Sue laughed. Finally, as a result of being an "unaware"beginning teacher, and not being in a position to question what actually happened atthe school, Leign was taken advantage of.Leigh: You are the only one going "you mean I shouldn't bevolunteering to have my prep time on Monday andFriday.... You know how many preps I missed [due toholidays and school proD days. What an interestingcoincidence. Both my girlfriend and I are first yearteachers and we both have Monday and Friday preps. Theprep people suggest it to you and you say "oh isn't thatnice" [not knowing that you're being taken advantage of].66(Interview 3)These concerns related to inadequate university preparation (dealing withparents, planning challenging experiences for kids), fear of colleagues, lack ofsupplies, inadequate orientation to the school's routines and decision-makingprocess, were all part of the "not knowing" phenomenon experienced by many firstyear teachers.4.2.5 SummaryThis first year of teaching was a very positive experience for Leigh. Herconfidence in herself as a teacher and the support she received from her mentorsand other staff members provided Leigh with the strength to deal with parentalconcerns and other problems that beginning teachers encounter. Leigh's teachingphilosophy reflected her belief in kids and thus she planned her experiences so thatstudents of all abilities could be challenged and successful. Her survival attitudeand her belief in leading a "balanced life" influenced her perception of her first yearof teaching as a tremendous success.Leigh: Everything was a highlight this year. [My advice forbeginning teachers would be] just relax. don't worry aboutthings... it doesn't matter.... You have to stop pressuringyourself.... We are capable. The district would not havehired us if we weren't capable.... First year teachers have toget out of the classroom.... Do some exercise.... (Interview4)4.3 Case Three: MargaretThis case study was based on the first year teaching experiences of Margaret.Margaret was 42 years old and taught at Scarborough Elementary School. It was asmall elementary school which enrolled 100 students. During this first year of67teaching, Margaret taught 20 children ages 6 and 7. They were in years 2/3 (grades1/2) of the new Primary Program. Margaret shared this teaching assignment withher teaching partner Patty. Margaret was first hired to the district in January andhad worked at Whalley Elementary before coming to Scarborough Elementary. AtScarborough Elementary there were five new teachers out of a staff of nine.Four themes were identified during Margaret's first year of teaching whichaffected her experiences as a beginning teacher. The themes were: supportiverelationships; job sharing; dealing with diversity; and stress.4.3.1 Theme one: supportive relationshipsMargaret had previously experienced working collaboratively with a buddyteacher at Whalley Elementary school. That collaboration started in January andthus for Margaret collaboration amongst teachers was the norm. Margaretdeveloped many supportive relationships at Scarborough Elementary but the twomost significant ones were with her teaching partner Patty, and her buddy teacherMark.Patty's relationship with Margaret "was probably the best introduction toteaching that I personally could have... I've been really, really lucky" (Interview 4).Margaret: I am using my teaching partner as my mentor mostly.Even though we don't work together at the same time.We do our planning. We're talking. It works wellbecause we both know the kids intimately and that's reallygreat. (Interview 3)Margaret's buddy teacher was also the vice-principal and the physicaleducation relief teacher. Margaret valued this supportive relationship because shefound Mark to be "a continual source of energy and he's always happy [and]68positive" (Interview 3). In addition, "Mark was always supportive. Mark and I havea buddy reading program.... Mark is very experienced and he knows what he'sdoing" (Interview 4).Margaret was also assigned a mentor teacher Maria. They didn't meet veryoften. Maria's classroom was down the hall and she taught grades 3/4. Thesefactors prohibited the formation of a close collaborative relationship betweenMargaret and Maria.Margaret appreciated the opportunities to collaborate with teachers whetherthey were with Mark, Patty, the ESL resource teacher, the classroom assistant ormembers of the district resource team. Margaret expressed, "having a friend on staffis really important. Having an experienced teacher there who is willing to guideyou [is important].... Most teachers would go out of their way to help you"(Interview 3).4.3.2 Theme two: job sharingJob sharing created a dilemma for Margaret. How much effort was enoughwhen you only worked half-time? Margaret expressed, "I'm doing the best I can. Ifind that it would be easier were I here all the time but when you are only here twoor three days a week, then you sort of do what you can on those days" (Interview 2).In addition, she felt that as a half-time teacher you "don't get a clear idea ofthe workings of the school" (Interview 2). At times she wished she could teach full-time so she could plan all the learning experiences her way and have control of herclass. At other times, she was glad that she was half-time because she was also amother of two children. Also, she was frustrated by the diversity (due to69mainstreamed students) in her classroom.Margaret: One thing that has a big bearing on my teaching situationis that I only work half-time. I'm job sharing. With thisclass being so needy, it would be very difficult if notimpossible... to do it full-time. My partner is anexperienced teacher. She's been been teaching for 15 yearsand she would never do it full-time with this bunch ofkids. (Interview 3)Although Patty was her teaching partner and together they planned theprogram of experiences for the kids, Margaret had difficulties with Patty's approachto teaching. Another dilemma arose regarding which approach to teaching wasmore effective for learning? Math worksheets and basal readers or child-centeredhands-on learning? Patty preferred the worksheets and basal readers approach whileMargaret preferred the hands-on, discovery approach. This frustrated Margaretbecause "our programs are not the same...I don't want to do worksheets. Patty wantsto do worksheets" (Interview 1). Margaret added, "my partner is doing theMathQuest and so I let them do that sometimes.... I'd rather do the concrete thingsbecause a lot of them need it..." (Interview 2).In term one, parent conferences were held because Patty knew these parentsfrom last year and this was the approach used to discuss each child's progress.Margaret participated as an observer while Patty conducted each parent conference.For term two, Margaret hoped that student-led conferences would be employed. Inthis approach, the teacher's role was quite different.Margaret: I will have to talk to Patty on that. What I see our role as,is as a facilitator. I see the kids bringing their parents inand introducing them to us in the classroom... but I'mafraid it may not actually work out the way that I haveplanned. That's the problem with working with partners.(Interview 2)In addition to the different philosophies of teaching, job sharing also caused70Margaret to miss out on district workshops. On days that she wasn't working, if shewanted to attend the workshops, she would have to hire a baby sitter. Margaret feltleft out of these opportunities and was concerned that she was missing someimportant learning opportunities.4.3.3 Theme three: dealing with diversityDealing with, what Margaret described as, the "needy" children in theclassroom was a constant source of frustration for both Margaret and Patty. Margaretperceived this class to be "a difficult class. It has a lot of diversity" (Interview 2). Ofthe twenty students in the class, three were identified as special needs (one cerebralpalsy, one mentally retarded, one autistic tendencies) and six were ESL students. Inaddition, Margaret explained that "half the class was receiving learning assistance"(Interview 2).Margaret: It's an ethnic group. Most are East Indians and then theWhite people who are here are really poor.... We've beenworrying about our special needs kids. Trying to give theabled kids some good learning... that's been the hardestthing. (Interview 3)There were many personnel assigned to support this class of students buttheir presence created a dilemma for Margaret. Support for the diversity in the classwas needed but how much support does it take and how many people should beinvolved? How do you coordinate and cope with all these resource people comingin and out of your classroom?Initially she felt like "they just come in and are watching me. They come inat inopportune times and just sit there" (Interview 1). Then she becameoverwhelmed and didn't know how to cope with all these resource people.71Margaret: We counted them up and there are 11 adults who come inand out of this room weekly. That's a lot.... Thecounsellor will come in and hang out with some kids.This is good news and bad news. We don't likedisruptions. We don't like alot of people coming in andout. We don't want to have open house. On the onehand, you would like to have support [and on the otherhand this creates alot of disruptions] (Interview 3).Margaret felt that her concerns were influenced by her inexperience as ateacher.Margaret: With all this diversity, the less people who are in here thebetter it is.... I don't know how the support people canhelp me. I'm not experienced enough. I don't know whatI'm suppose to do. I don't know what they are suppose todo. The counsellor walks into the room. There's alot ofkids pulling at me and all this kind of stuff and I say, "ohhi" and she'll say something like, "oh I would like to lookat..." and I would say, "oh go ahead...." (Interview 2)This dilemma persisted for the whole year and frustrated both Margaret andPatty. It also enhanced Margaret's feelings of being overwhelmed and helpless.4.3.4 Theme four: stress/burnoutMargaret was working half-time. She had a class of "needy" kids. She did nothave enough time to plan a good program with her teaching partner. She didn'tknow how to cope with all these resource people. Her teaching partner's teachingphilosophy contrasted hers. All of these factors caused alot of stress for Margaret.She didn't have the time to reflect on her teaching and to catch up. Margaret stated,"beginning teachers need time. I come as early as I can. I have to run away fromhome before anybody gets up. I'm in the school by 7 o'clock" (Interview 2).In addtion, Margaret had a young family at home.Margaret: I have the kids at home... Although I think it's important72to have children. It's very difficult to have youngchildren when you are a beginning teacher. (Interview 2)Upon reflection during the final interview, Margaret summarized herconcerns about the lack of time and burnout, and said, "life is going by too fast. Andit shouldn't because this will cause burnout. Unless that stops, you're going to crashat the end" (Interview 4).Her advice for beginning teachers reflected her survival attitude during herown first year as a teacher.Margaret: You can't do everything all at once so you do everythingone at a time. Begin at the beginning and just do whatyou can. That's it.... Remember, it's okay.... Whatever youdo, it'll be okay. It's so easy to get caught up. Use yourmentor teacher. Don't isolate yourself. Get close [topeople] and don't be afraid to ask [for help]. (Interview 4)4.3.5 SummaryMargaret rated her first year of teaching as a seven (out of a maximum of tenwhere ten represented excellent) and explained that she was just starting toexperience some successes with her students. Despite all the problems she wasencountering around job sharing, dealing with a lack of time, and dealing withdiversity, Margaret survived her year because of her positive survival attitude. Sheestablished many supportive relationships amongst staff members but her mainsupport came from her teaching partner Patty, and buddy teacher Mark.Margaret emphasized the need to develop collaborative relationships whenshe expressed, "I think that the mentoring program, if it does nothing else, is goodbecause it gives time for a beginning teacher to make a friend on staff and to make aclose connection and that is really important. It's really good" (Interview 2).734.4 Case Four: SueThis case study was based on the first year teaching experiences of Sue. Suewas 24 years old and taught at Tomoguchi Elementary School, like Katey in case one.During this first year of teaching, Sue taught Kindergarten in the morning and wasthe ESL/LA [English as a Second Language/Learning Assistance] resource teacher inthe afternoon. Her Kindergarten class consisted of 18 students and her afternooncase load consisted of 20 students. As the LA resource teacher she worked withstudents in grades six and seven and, as the ESL resource teacher she worked withstudents from the entire school grades two to seven. In total Sue worked with 38students.Two themes were identified during Sue's first year of teaching which affectedher experiences as a beginning teacher. These themes were problems which arosefrom her teaching misassignment and were identified as a lack of support and stress.The problems that Sue encountered in her first year of teaching were rootedin her lack of preparation to teach the assignments given to her. She wasmisassigned. She was not prepared to teach Kindergarten and learning assistance.Sue received teacher preparation for upper primary grades and during her first twopractica, she taught in grades 3/4 and grades 6/7. Her long thirteen week practicumwas in grade 3. In addition, Sue taught ESL in an independent school for a shorttime before being hired to the Wellington School District.When Sue was first hired to the District she was offered a position to teachhalf-time as a LA resource teacher. This was an area where she had no teacherpreparation in. This offer created a dilemma for Sue. Should she accept theposition and teach outside of her area of expertise, as Sue said, "to get the job", or74should she wait for a more appropriate job offer and risk not getting a job? Suemade the decision to accept the offer based on her desire to "get into the [district]"and on the premise that "if I could survive a year, I can find a better position nextyear" (Interview 3). Also at this time, she had no idea what the other half-timeteaching load was going to be.Sue: When I was first interviewed, I was interviewed for this position[Kindergarten class].... Peter (the principal), really liked me buthe couldn't give this job to me because he had to give it to thisother teacher. But he said he really wanted me on staff so hewould give me the next position that came up.... I was trained asan upper primary [and had experience in Intermediate] whichmade me really surprised that I was interviewed forKindergarten. Kindergarten is something I'm not preparedfor.... The LA position came up of which I had no experiencewhatsoever...I haven't taken any courses...I took the positionand they said they would find me another 0.5 positionsomewhere in the district. And that's all I knew for the wholesummer. And when September came around I was here....Suddenly we got this influx of ESL students...so they decided tomake my position half LA and half ESL...I have taught ESLbefore.... And then I got changed again because of the [low]numbers.... [I was offered the Kindergarten class].... I was reallyhesitant in taking this position. Thinking back now, it wouldhave been smarter to keep with just the two (LA and ESL)....(Interview 3)Thus, initially Sue accepted the half-time LA position and then later on shealso accepted the half-time Kindergarten position. Both were misassignmentsbecause she had no previous experience in these areas. At the time Sue attended thesummer institute component of the Wellington School District Beginning TeacherInduction/Mentoring Program, she was only confirmed to teach half-time LA. Thiscreated frustration for her as she participated in the summer workshop. Sueexpressed, "I found it [information] really useful but unfortunately I didn't knowwhat type of class I would have or grade level and in terms of that it was verydifficult to concentrate or focus (on the information being discussed)..." (Interview751).As a result of her LA position, when Sue had the opportunity to choose amentor during the first week of school, she chose the LA resource teacher Mavis,and asked for a common preparation period with her. This situation worked outvery well and Sue and Mavis started planning their respective school programs(Mavis with grades 1-5 and Sue with grades 6-7). Then when the reorganizationtook place, Sue lost the common preparation period with Mavis.4.4.1 Theme one: lack of supportIt was only in the first three weeks of September that Sue experienced anyform of support; this was from Mavis. They shared the learning assistance resourcecenter. From Mavis, Sue learned a great deal about being a Learning Assistanceresource teacher.Sue: Mavis works only Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and half dayThursdays and she leaves early because of her [position atanother school] so I seem to talk to her three or four times aday.... She showed me all the materials in the LA room andhow to schedule IEP's [individual education plan]. [She showedme] everything that she had and [showed me] what she did forthe program.... We haven't set any times for me to watch herand I think it's because we are working with two very differentage groups. She's working with the primary and I'm workingwith the intermediate, and it's quite difficult especially when weare still short of time and there's so many kids in need that wejust don't think to take the time to watch each other. (Interview1)Once the school reorganized the teaching loads, due to declining enrolment,Sue lost her personal support system. This was when the problems began.Sue: Since the timetable changes, we are having a bit of difficultybecause I don't see her (Mavis) as often. She's really here in themornings [when I have my Kindergarten class].... Lunch hoursare usually meetings and she doesn't get here before nine thirty76and she leaves at two thirty so we kind of miss each other.... Iguess I should've chosen two mentors.... It's easier too if you arein the same school. (Interview 2)Consequently, Sue had very few opportunities to collaborate with hermentor. Her request for two, possibly three, mentors was quite reasonable since Suenow also taught Kindergarten and was responsible for the school's ESL studentpopulation. As a result, Sue sought support from other primary teachers in thesame wing of the school or friends who she went to the university with.Another factor that made Sue's situation so frustrating was that in this smallschool, there was no other Kindergarten teacher. The previous Kindergartenteacher was no longer teaching at the school. Thus, Sue wanted to visitKindergarten programs at other schools. Due to a lack of time, she was unable to dothis.Sue: Especially in this Kindergarten position... there's no one else herewho is teaching Kindergarten. I had chosen a mentor alreadybecause my initial assignment was LA but then it changed. NowI know that I should have chosen a Kindergarten mentor butthere wasn't one... because we are a small school, we only haveone Kindergarten class. (Interview 3)The administration was perceived by Sue to be unsupportive. The principalhad observed her and told her she was doing well but he failed to provide her with"emotional support" and "planning advice". In addition, he had volunteered toorganize her visitations to observe other Kindergarten programs but due to his busyschedule, this never occurred.4.4.2 Theme two: stressDue to her misassignment and the reorganization of the timetable, Sue wasstressed for the entire year. She never felt in control of her Kindergarten class nor77her ESL and LA programs. She was dealing with all these problems on her own.She felt lonely and overwhelmed in this small school. Since the reorganization,Sue felt like she was always trying to catch up. Because she never taughtKindergarten before, she was always uncertain about the activities she waspreparing. She made up for her inexperience by working very long days.Sue: I'm the type of person who likes to be prepared...I find it reallydifficult... I'm finding myself still trying to catch up to doingthese things that really needed to be done at the beginning of theyear...I'm still trying to change things. I'm never satisfied withmy dayplan.... You get one week behind and then you are alwaysone week behind.... And then you had to quickly get yourpreviews done and then by that time you have to get yourevaluations in and you have to arrange your classroom.... I juststay at this school so late, like constantly, and right now[October], I'm starting to leave around 8 or 9 at night instead of10 [as in September]. It's all that catching up. You never reallycatch up. (Interview 1)In addition, and as a another result of being in a small school, Sue had toattend district workshops on the Primary Program, ESL and LA. This compoundedher feelings of being overwhelmed, tired and stressed. As a result, these absencestook their toll on her students and her programs.Sue: I've been going to so many workshops that they've[administrators] been signing me up for [workshops in]Kindergarten, LA and ESL and when you are covering threedifferent areas, you have to go to these workshops. And I thinkI've had five or six substitutes in my classroom already and youjust don't have that time to catch up. (Interview 1)These absences occurred during the first two months of the school year. Incombination with the "trying to catch up" feelings experienced with thereorganization, Sue was experiencing a lot of concerns about all the activitiesaround the school like open house, parent conferences and report cards. She said, "Ithink it's actually taking over my entire life.... I knew [teaching] would be [hard78work] but it's just more than what I had expected...and it's also report card time..."(Interview 3).In addition to being affected emotionally and psychologically by all this stress,she was also experiencing physical health problems. She had a cold that lasted forthree weeks during term two.After Christmas, Sue experienced a great deal of personal stress whichinvolved a lack of communication between herself, her principal and a dissatisfiedparent. Because she was uninformed of the parent's complaints until three monthsafter the incident, Sue felt both helpless and unsupported by the administratorbecause of his lack of communication with her about the incident.Sue: I feel that I am going through a crisis. The thing is that I didn'trealize some of these things because I wasn't told about themand I felt like I should have been. I guess the administratorhasn't been communicating with me.... It actually happenedbefore Christmas and I wasn't notified about it [by either theparent or the principal]. I finally found out about it two days ago[three months after].... I could have been told that someone hadcome in to see him and talked about the classroom. The fact thatI didn't know makes me look like an idiot. It shouldn't havehappened.... The administrator realized this and is veryapologetic and he said I should be moving on and should try toget over this but I don't see the support coming throughunfortunately. (Interview 3)The parent's complaints were related to the Primary Program because she feltthat Sue wasn't "doing enough math worksheets and writing" in her Kindergartenclass but rather she had her students' do, what Sue called, "play" at centers. Itappeared to Sue that the principal should have supported her in explaining thePrimary Program's philosophy to the parents. For Sue this again illustrated theprincipal's lack of support for her. Once again, Sue felt that clear communicationabout the philosophy of the Primary Program should be made to parents of primary-79aged students.Sue: I had to explain my program a lot and I don't think we really hadanyone here to explain the Primary Program to new parentswho aren't familiar with it. It is very different from when theywent to school.... I should have thought of that myself but Ithink that's the job of the whole school to do that. (Interview 4)4.4.3 SummaryFor Sue, this was a very difficult first year of teaching. Because of her decisionto work in this School District, she agreed to teach in two areas that she had nopreparation in. This misassignment created many problems for her and theseproblems plagued her for the entire year. Initially when Sue was teaching onlyLearning Assistance, she selected the LA resource teacher to be her mentor. Threeweeks into the school year, there was a reorganization of the timetable and Sueagreed to teach a Kindergarten class and to be the ESL resource teacher for theschool. Her mentor could no longer support her effectively. Lacking support andworking in isolation in this small school created many problems for Sue. She feltoverwhelmed, tired, stressed, alone and unsure. In addition, when her principalfailed to support her during parental complaints about her Primary Program anddidn't arrange for visitations to other schools, Sue became more discouraged.Sue survived her first year because she believed in her own teaching abilitiesdue to her successful practicum experiences. In addition, she was motivated tosucceed because she believed that although it was a misassignment, it was a way toget into the district and "if I could survive a year, I can find a better position nextyear" (Interview 3).804.5 Case Five: SusanThis case study was based on the first year teaching experiences of Susan.Susan was 29 years old and taught at Burlington Junior Secondary School whichenrolled 880 students. During this first year of teaching, Susan was part of theschool's grade eight team. On this team, she taught Humanities 8 to three groups ofstudents. In this course, she taught the same group of students English and SocialStudies. She had a teaching partner who saw the same group of students but hetaught them Mathematics and Science. In addition, Susan taught one section ofBusiness Education 10. Thus, she taught a total of 120 students in her four courses.Three themes were identified during Susan's first year of teaching whichaffected her experiences as a beginning teacher. The themes were: supportiverelationships; classroom management; and stress.5.5.1 Theme one - supportive relationshipsThroughout this entire first year of teaching Susan emphasized her need forcontinuous emotional support. Her strongest relationship was with her mentor,Leanne, a second year teacher who also taught the Business Education 10 course.Leanne's classroom was next door to Susan's classroom. Susan valued thisrelationship tremendously for it made the difference to her survival. At BurlingtonJunior Secondary, both Susan and Leanne were part of their school-based inductionstudy group. This group consisted of five first year teachers and five second yearteachers who acted as mentors. They met every two second Thursday afterschool at3 o'clock.Susan:^The mentors tended to be (second) year teachers... whichis nice because they have just been through all the first81year hell kind of things and so they know right where youare at and where you are coming from.... (Interview 1)Susan appreciated the relationship she had with Leanne. As she said, Leannewas her "personal" mentor and she was "great".Susan:^I will go to her mainly for moral support and she givesthat to me and she's very good about it. She goes "yeah, Iknow exactly how it is. It'll probably get better atChristmas".... Well I think the biggest thing is just thatyou feel that you are really supported... the warm fuzzyfeelings [are necessary] because you are just so unsure ofyourself. That is, I felt quite unsure and I just needed thatmoral support because you know that deep down you cando it. (Interview 1)When Susan encountered difficulties planning Business Education 10, sheconsulted Leanne. Susan really valued the collaboration aspect of their relationshipand appreciated the district induction workshop on "ways of working together:coplan-coteach-coprocess".Susan:^[Leanne and I] teach one class that is common so we'vebeen doing some coplanning on that and actually thatwas something I picked up too out of the [district]induction program. Just the real emphasis on planningtogether and saving your time.... Two heads are betterthan one. It all makes total sense.... but again, it's hardestjust to find the time.... I could just go to her and say "ohman, what am I going to do?"Leanne:^Okay, here look. This is what I was thinking. What aboutyou and.... I'm thinking of doing this. What do youthink? .... We really work well together.... We should dothis more.Susan:^We seem to work well.... She has a good skeleton of whatshe thinks she can do and I found I am able to add onsome really good activities to it, so in fact that's how weseem to work. (Interview 1)Susan continued throughout the year to depend on Leanne for her emotionalsupport.Susan:^I need less and less [collaborative] support but I think I still82need emotional support. People like me and I likethem.... That's nice...[and if things don't go well] it's notthe end of the world. Tomorrow will be a better day. It'skind of supportive with other people being there... I likepeople to help each other out. (Interview 3)Susan's second most supportive relationship was with her teaching partnerBob. He taught the same students as Susan. This ongoing relationship was verygood for Susan because he would just "drop in to check in" on her and say "how's itgoing..." (Interview 3). In addition, she could also talk to him about specificstudents' classroom behaviour or work habits. For example, Susan would ask him"do you have the same problem with this kid? How do you handle it?" (Interview1).Susan really valued and respected this relationship with Bob. Bob provided astrong role model for Susan.Susan: My teaching partner was good. He was checking in on meto see how I was doing. I could get his years of experience.He set up a lot of the expectations at the beginning. So Iwas able to follow him. I would say that is a really goodway to learn. It's like cooperative learning, putting theweaker and the stronger kids together. I felt that this year,I was able to lean towards Bob. I could go to Bob to talkabout the kids. He knows the kids because he has alreadydealt with them. He's good at what he does. (Interview 4)Susan trusted the relationships with both her mentor and teaching partner.They provided her with the confidence and support to deal with the situations sheencountered. In addition to these two supportive relationships, Susan receivedsupport from the administration and other teachers. From her administrators, shegot immediate assistance in dealing with classroom discipline problems and fromthe women on staff she always received emotional support especially during timesof high stress. However, she was always quite cautious and uncertain about theseadditional relationships. A dilemma developed. Susan seemed to worry that83"getting help from others" might be perceived as being inadequate. She worriedabout other teachers' perception of her as a professional. Thus, Susan was caught:should she ask for support or should she go it alone? Asking for support woulddemonstrate inadequacy and yet going it alone would mean high anxiety. Susansaid, "as a beginning teacher, as long as you don't feel threatened, they (otherteachers) are going to think that you are dumb or they think that I don't know whatI am doing or how on earth did she pass that teacher program.... I can see where youcould feel inadequate" (Interview 3).In addition, Susan felt that some teachers were just not showing their trueself.Susan: You see other people who may outwardly appear to haveit more together but then if you talk to them more on apersonal level, they're scrambling just as much and yet tothe administration, they seem much more "oh noproblem".... You know that guys just may tend to cover upmore, and it looks like maybe I'm less capable. When infact, I feel I'm probably doing equally well in the job.(Interview 3)Susan's relationship with the administration was one of caution too. Initiallyshe was intimidated by them and did not want to discuss classroom situations withthem if they were nearby.Susan: I felt alittle intimidated.... You don't want to say "oh myGod, I really screwed up that class, and I felt like anidiot".... I guess you're not quite free to say what you wantto say because they may overhear you.... You won't sayanything with your big boss sitting there. (Interview 1)When Susan had to elicit the administrators' support in dealing withdiscipline problems, she always felt supported by their immediate actions of"suspending the student" or "removing them from the class" but she always feltinadequate in not dealing with it on her own. Susan said, "so I went to tell Maria84(vice-principal) and I burst out crying. It was very awful. It was very personal.... Sothen I feel really stupid because I'm bawling my head off.... Dexter (the principal)knows about it. Everybody knows about these things" (Interview 2).In her final interview, Susan summed up her experiences about teaching andher thoughts on emotional support.Susan: I think I was fairly aware of what is involved [in teaching].I realized it was a lot of work. I probably didn't realizehow emotional it could be because you are constantlydealing with people. It's interpersonal relationships....Those things are very wearing on you. (Interview 4)4.5.2 Theme two: classroom managementSusan's perception of classroom management problem was that it was linkedto her being a first year teacher. She tried to establish a friendly classroom tone andset high expectations for her students but she realized that sometimes that didn'twork. However, it seemed that many of her discipline situations involved a fewspecific individuals who challenged her authority and were attacking herpersonally. She felt that students "don't get along with you and especially when youare a beginning teacher" (Interview 4).Susan: I know that one or two [students] can in fact make yourclass pretty hellish. I think it can make or break someteachers in their first year.... And you know, they can tellwho's the weakest teacher. Who are they going to pick onthis year and inevitably, it would be a first year. Even ifthey don't exactly know.... They can tell through theinexperience.... (Interview 2)Specifically, Susan described an incident where she felt she was beingpersonally attacked. She realized that she should have dealt with the situationearlier instead of allowing it to escalate.85Susan: I've been having a major personality conflict with one ofthe darling little children in my grade 10 class... he's verymanipulative...anyways, he's been very hostile and has afollower who is a nice boy.... So between the two of them,they were disrupting the entire class everyday andpersonally attacking me... it was very difficult to deal withand I should have dealt with it better earlier but because Ididn't, it got worse and worst.... Two days ago, it was justthe last straw. They were arguing with me very loudly"why are you.... You are not being fair".... I was shaking. Ithought I was going to lose it in the class because I just feltso attacked. (Interview 2)At times, Susan felt that her inconsistency in following through with herrules aggravated the situation, and said, "like I wouldn't follow through. Like Iwould talk about them (rules) and would let them slide. That was a big mistake insome of the classes. Because it took longer to get them under control" (Interview 4).Despite the discipline problems, Susan felt that her expectations of studentperformance helped to establish a good relationship with most of her students.Susan: I find that because of my expectations, in class they do getinvolved instead of sitting back.... The kids respond to meand I feel that I am a fairly firm teacher and I have quitehigh expectations of the kids both behaviour-wise andacademic-wise. I expect them to do their best. I think theyrespect that.... I find that very positive and rewardingwhen the kids are very personal. They talk to you andthey tell you stuff. They are very excited to see you whenyou are in the hall. (Interview 4)Once again, when it came to getting support on classroom managementmatters, Susan hesitated in getting school support because of the dilemma discussedearlier about "getting support and being perceived as being inadequate". Instead shefelt very comfortable with looking for support outside the school from two districtteacher consultants Sue and Dan. She met them at the District induction workshopsand had developed a good relationship with them. Thus, she felt she could invitethem in to help her develop better classroom management skills. In addition, Sue86and Dan worked on a regular basis with the members of the school-based inductionprogram.Susan:^You almost need someone like your mentor or Sue andDan to come in to give more feedback [on classroommanagement techniques].... An outside person is better.You don't want to feel stupid in front of your mentor, infront of your administrators or another teacher.(Interview 3)In the final interview, her advice to beginning teachers was "be really tough.Especially with the rules in the beginning.... The toughest part of the first term is totry to decide on whether to be mean or too nice.... [Also] take care of the problemearlier [before it escalates]" (Interview 4).4.5.3 Theme three: stress/burnoutThroughout the entire year, Susan felt overwhelmed, tired and stressed. Shelooked forward to Christmas and Spring breaks, and weekends. Those breaks gaveher a chance to relax and put her experiences into perspective. This attitude ofreflecting back and knowing that this was only her first year of teaching helpedSusan survive the year. Through all of this, she kept a view towards being balanced.Susan said, "you have to find a balance. You have to be able to make time foryourself like and maybe give more concrete things to yourself" (Interview 1).For Susan, the breaks from school provided her with a rest from the job.Susan:^Christmas break was very nice, restful and relaxing. Andwhen I came back things are just falling into place....Suddenly the urgency is not there. You seem to knowwhat you are doing.... I think that finally my whole bodyand brain had a chance to calm right down. I was findingthat the stress level was getting lower and lower as I wasgetting more control.... I think you have to have thoseweekends. There's really something about them. Thewhole calming effect of a weekend. It is not dealing with87school. You cannot be expected to work seven days aweek.... It's stupid. (Interview 3)These feelings of being stressed started very early in the year. She felt like shewas "swimming in a mountain of handouts" (Interview 1) and attending too manymeetings. Susan commented, "I found, especially in September, that every day Ihad two to three meetings...I was just getting totally burnt out...that is part of thereason why you can't get other things done...like your teaching stuff, like yourplanning or the marking" (Interview 1). Her advice to beginning teachers was"don't go to meetings from September to December" (Interview 4).Susan experienced another dilemma. She valued the information she wasreceiving from workshops, but it was just "too much too soon". She needed to findsome quiet time to think, plan, and mark. After all, did she need moreinformation? She just "got out of [teacher preparation] where we have lots of ideas"(Interview 2).Susan:^I find that as a first year, I almost don't want, don't need atthis point new ideas, or new information... it's just timefor doing the regular stuff and let's get the regularclassroom management and the regular planning done....I think it really is a survival year and I don't really thinkit's the time to start anything new.... There's just no timeand that's what it boils down to, time. The time factorand the sanity.... (Interview 2)Susan worried about this overwhelming feeling constantly and emphasizedthe need to be balanced, for without rest and time, you could burnout.Susan:^One thing that I would stress more is the burnout.... Noyou don't have to be spent. I'm here nine and a half, tenhours a day. Then I go home and I really feel burnt outand I don't feel like marking and sometimes I cannot domarking. Sometimes I cannot do planning because mymind is gone.... It's almost too much to ask people to do....Everyone agrees...teaching is the place to be. It consumesyour entire life, and I don't believe it should. (Interview 1)88Each time Susan felt this way, she would experience an emotional breakdowneither in the privacy of her classroom or in front of peers. She described three ofthese scenarios during the course of the year. The first incident happened on aprofessional development day at school. Susan expressed, "I was exhausted. I wasreally tired...I was trying to get work done. I had to go to it..I was feeling so stressedout and so tired that I froze up here [classroom] and I just started crying my eyesout...I was just so gone" (Interview 1).The second incident occurred at a potluck dinner for the women teachers.Susan: I was very, very stressed out...we were playing this littlegame... just a paper-pencil game and very easy. Think oftwo adjectives for each of these shapes... I couldn't thinkof an adjective for anything. It was unreal. I just couldn'tthink. All my thinking was gone... it seemed so stupidand so small... I did feel very foolish and I felt reallystressed out. Like no, I didn't need one more thing tothink about. And I burst out crying. I went to thebathroom and bawled my head off. (Interview 2)The third emotional outburst was related to the classroom managementscenario described earlier. Following the incident in the classroom, where Susanwas left "shaking" and "almost losing it", she went downstairs to talk to thecounsellor. Susan said, "I just started crying right in the middle of the hall... thenwe went to eat lunch and... I starting telling them (women in the staffroom). I burstout crying like, like in front of everybody in the staffroom. I'm bawling my head off.I felt like an idiot..."(Interview 2).Susan proceeded to tell the female administrator about the incident and asdescribed earlier, she burst out crying again. Throughout all of these tramauticexperiences, Susan survived. The supportive relationships she established with hermentor, teaching partner, induction study group members and other staff helped89her tremendously. Positive self-talk also helped.Susan:^I felt so much better when I took on this whole newattitude. "That's right, I've got to calm down. This is notmy life. And yes, the first year is going to be tough". Justgive yourself as much time as possible for the planningand the marking.... talk to other people to get resources....I've learned.... I wish I had learned earlier. To have moreof a balance. (Interview 4)4.5.4 SummaryIn the four interviews with Susan, three definite themes were revealed. Herstrength came from the development of strong, emotional, and supportiverelationships with her mentor and teaching partner. As Susan identified, "teachingis about interpersonal relationships" with people like fellow staff members, andwith students. This perspective and the support system she could count on, helpedher deal with the classroom management problems she encountered. Furthermore,her positve self-talk and "keep a balanced (time for herself and time for school) lifeattitude", gave her the confidence and perseverence to survive the stressed-out,"drowning" feelings she encountered as a first year teacher.4.6^Case Six: TracyThis final case study was based on the first year teaching experiences of Tracy.Tracy was 27 years old and taught at McKinnon Junior Secondary School whichenrolled 890 students. This was a French Immersion School. During this first yearof teaching, Tracy taught Science 8 in French, Science 9 in French, Social Studies 9 inFrench and Science 8 in English. She taught a total of 185 students in her sevencourses. The school's teaching staff consisted of 50 teachers of whom 16 were new to90the school. Prior to entering into the university teacher education program, Tracyworked as a French monitor in elementary French Immersion classrooms in aschool district on the west coast.Four themes were identified during Tracy's first year of teaching whichaffected her experiences as a beginning teacher. The themes were: supportiverelationships; classroom management; lack of materials; and stress.4.6.1 Theme one - supportive relationshipsAt the school Tracy received support from teachers, counsellors and resourceteachers (such as ESL and LA). She especially felt supported by the members of thenew teachers' induction group which met every Wednesday mornings at 7:45. Thissupport group (sometimes labelled by the participants as the "breakfast club")consisted of three administrators, seven first year teachers and seven teachers newto the school. In addition, Tracy was supported by a mentor teacher who taughtFrench Immersion Science. Tracy was very happy about this support system andcommented, "my staff here and I have an excellent relationship. I am very, veryhappy.... I'm glad we have the [new teachers' group]. It makes us feel even morecomfortable" (Interview 1).Tracy's mentor, Linda, was "a friend and colleague [who] when I need stuffI'll go to... and when she needs stuff she'll come and see me" (Interview 2). Linda'sclassroom was in the science department of the school while Tracy's classroom wasin a portable in the back field. This didn't provide much opportunity for peerobservation or collaboration.In addition to staff support, she described her principal as someone who91"supports us alot", and her two vice-principals as people who "would do anythingthat we asked them to" (Interview 2) which included team teaching and dealingwith discipline problems immediately.Other staff members who supported Tracy were the Learning Assistanceresource teacher and the counsellor. Tracy received support from the school'sLearning Assistance resource teacher who collaborated with Tracy to plan lessons forstudents with learning difficulties. The counsellor helped Tracy with students whowere experiencing personal problems. Finally, a personal support was Tracy's fiancewho was there to provide a great deal of emotional support.Tracy's collaborations with staff members were the highlights of her first yearof teaching and during the final interview she had some advice for beginningteachers.Tracy: Develop a really good relationship with the staff and theadministration. It's very, very important... if there's aproblem, don't be scared to see your administration andother teachers. If there are problems, don't do it alone.It's true. (Interview 4)4.6.2 Theme two: classroom managementDuring the ten months of teaching, Tracy was frustrated by having todiscipline students. She recalled, "when we started our program at the university,the first question they asked us, "what was our main concern?" Everybody said itwas classroom management. You know that's something I think is important todeal with" (Interview 1).She appreciated the district's induction workshop on this topic and thoughtthat the classroom management roleplay was extremely useful because "I had to use92it the next day and if I hadn't had practice, I would have blown up at the kid"(Interview 1).For Tracy, classroom management was another dilemma. How strict shouldyou be? Tracy said, "I found that at first, I wasn't strict enough and I got stricter andof course the more aggressive you get, the more aggressive they get" (Interview 1).Tracy described a typical classroom problem.Tracy:^One child has been suspended.... [another student], I'mjust ignoring him right now.... I don't want to pay moreattention to him. It's not that he's aggressive but he justsays "I don't care, I'm not working". So I'm strugglingwith that and in the same class, there are two other boys....(Interview 1)Throughout term one, she continued to worry about her classroommanagement and described it in frustration.Tracy:^There's just one student who I'm having problems with.She is going to have to be transferred out or somethinglike that. I feel that I have not helped her as much as Icould...I'm really trying. Everytime she comes into myclass, she manages to disrupt the whole class and I have toconstantly send her to the office. And as soon as sheleaves, it's like a miracle. The class is normal again, and Ican get on with it. (Interview 2)Furthermore, Tracy felt that during the year, she wasn't consistent with herclassroom management because "at times I just let the kids do it and let the lessonflow" (Interview 3). In the final interview when Tracy was asked to identify thelowpoint during her first year of teaching, she reaffirmed her frustrations aroundthe classroom management dilemma.Tracy:^Recently everyday, it's been like nag, nag, nag to one kidor another and they are not doing their stuff and not ontask. It's really bothering me.... It's nothing really badbecause when I tell the kids to do something, they do it. Iguess I'm becoming a bit impatient now with them. It'snot just their fault. It's now the end of the year and they93want to finish. I want to finish. (Interview 4)Tracy's classroom management dilemma was amplified whenever she wasaway from the classroom attending in-district or out-of-district professionaldevelopment workshops. Due to her many absences to participate in theseworkshops, upon her return she found her students, as Tracy described it, more"rowdy" and less manageable.Tracy: I went to Prince George in October. That was a couple ofdays and then the Science Convention was another coupleof days. Then there were other workshops here and there.I think that my absence too a toll on the kids and it waskind of hard to control them.... At the end, when I was atthe science convention, I asked my principal to come intomy class just to see how things were going. And he reallycalmed the kids down... and then I came back that Mondayand I said, "this is it. There will be no more foolingaround...." I'd like to go to a lot of things but I find...thatI'm going to have to take it abit easier. (Interview 2)She acknowledged that her absence created problems for the students andcreated another dilemma for Tracy. Should she be attending professionaldevelopment to enhance her teaching or should she stay at the school so that thestudents could get the best of her presence in school? This dilemma caused Tracy tonot attend many daytime workshops and she made the suggestion to have moreafterschool workshops.In addition to frustrations around her students misbehaving when shereturned, Tracy also heard from her students that the substitutes were not good.This concerned Tracy and on several occasions she questioned the quality ofsubstitutes.Tracy: I know my kids, especially my English groups, can getreally rowdy but I give them hell when I come back. I dotalk to my kids and I ask them to be honest "how was thesub?" and I'm hearing some really bad comments fromthe kids.... A sub who comes into my class and is really94strict and wants silence will have problems. The kidscan't change overnight. I tell them (substitutes) that theyare alittle bit rowdy and if they do their work, it's okay.And I get things like "never on task and this and this".Some of this is understandable because they are use toclass discussion and expressing themselves and with a subyou just can't. That's one of the things that made me a bitmad. (Interview .3)In addition, Tracy felt that "it's a lot of work preparing for the sub andunfortunately, a lot of the times, they don't do exactly the things that you wantthem to do" (Interview 2). Furthermore, Tracy felt that when there was asubstitute, "it's very difficult for the kids... you can't do any labs... they have to workfrom the textbook" (Interview 2).Tracy was very sensitive to the needs of her students and explained theproblems encountered by substitutes to differences in presentation styles. She feltthat a substitute should provide students with seatwork out of a book while for hershe could engage in more interactive activities like discussions and hands-on labexperiences. Also, she was frustrated that upon her return, she would have toreview the lesson that the substitute failed to cover.4.6.3 Theme three: lack of materialsAs with all beginning teachers, Tracy experienced frustration when shearrived at her school during the summer to set up her classroom. Tracycommented, "when I came in here, I had no materials, nothing. I didn't know thatI had to scrounge around and really be aggressive, just take everything I could"(Interview 1).To further her frustrations, she discovered that she had to request anoverhead projector from the librarian. Luckily for her, she received one on the95Friday before the start of school and commented that, "if I had waited until Monday,I would probably not have gotten one" (Interview 1). To Tracy, this lack of materialswas totally frustrating because "it has nothing to do with teaching..." (Interview 3).Another dilemma Tracy encountered was the fact that her classroom was in aportable. Is it an advantage or disadvantage for a beginning teacher?Tracy: Being in a portable, I find it really frustrating because Ican't get a VCR. Today this person from the district issuppose to be teaching my kids the Family Life programand I have to go to the library and drag my overheadprojector to the library. I have to beg the PE department toget the videomachine in there.... If I'm going to stay in aportable then there's a couple of things that I need....Being a first year teacher, you can't demand so much butat the same time, this is ridiculous. (Interview 3)Being in a portable was frustrating but she also felt glad to be there. Sheremarked, "I'm glad that I am in a portable. If they ever put me in a classroom, theother teachers are just going to kill me because some of my classes are really loud.Really loud" (Interview 3).In reality, Tracy was in a portable because the school population was growingat a very rapid pace. Tracy was concern that this continuous growth was affectingthe school tone.Tracy: The school is suppose to be for 700 kids and we're 890right now: So it's bulging. The kids don't know where togo at lunch time. A lot of my concerns are not myteaching... It's just things like materials [andequipment].... I have a lot of concerns about the physicalappearance of the school and how it would also help thekids behaviour-wise. They feel trapped. The school is justtoo small. And if they are going to accept more kids nextyear. It's going to be ridiculous, because I don't knowwhere they are going to put them. (Interview 3)964.6.4 Theme four: stressThroughout her first year of teaching, Tracy felt overwhelmed, tired andstressed. Teaching was keeping her very busy and she could hardly wait for theholiday breaks, especially Christmas break in term one and Spring Break in termtwo. Tracy commented, "there's alot of work in teaching. In the first month, it isvery scary. You have to learn all the routines of the school. You have to get toknow the staff members, the administration, everything..." (Interview 3).When Tracy reflected on the first term, she commented,Tracy:^November was awful. It was a really, really bad month....I was expecting to have a low point. It's going to be likethis all year. Some days are going to be great. Some daysare going to be horrible. So I'm just learning to accept itright now. I think it took that shock of a whole monthbeing really bad to just wake me up. (Interview 2)This survival attitude about having great days and horrible days, helped Tracyduring her first year of teaching. This attitude gave her confidence during thedifficult days. During her third interview in February, Tracy again expressed herfeelings of being overwhelmed and tired. This time she also referred to her teachingload in having to prepare four different courses and having to teach in both Frenchand English.Tracy:^I'm losing my voice again. For the fifth time this year....I'm thinking about the end. I'm looking forward toMarch break because I'm so tired. Everybody's exhausted.It's a big stretch, January and February without anything.I'm just thinking about getting these marks finished andrelaxing. But I've just finished doing projects with mygrade 8's and 9's. We had Open House yesterday wherethe parents of grade 7's came in.... Hopefully next year Iwill get all French Immersion. I'm finding it too difficultin going from French to English. (Interview 3)Her advice to beginning teachers reflected her survival attitude which gave97her the perseverence to make it through her first year of teaching.Tracy:^Don't be discouraged. I could honestly say, that out of tenmonths, for about two months in total I was depressed. Iwas beginning to think "this isn't going very well". It'salot to think about but it's normal in your first year.Hopefully it'll get better... if you want help, then youshould seek it. (Interview 4)4.6.5 SummaryDuring the four interviews with Tracy, four definite themes were revealed.Her positive feelings about teaching resulted from her supportive relationshipsdeveloped at the school amongst many members of the staff especially with heradministrators and members of the new teachers' induction group. The emotionalsupport from these relationships helped her deal with the frustrations sheencountered from classroom management problems.In addition, Tracy experienced concerns about the lack of supplies andequipment and felt overwhelmed and stressed. These concerns made the teachingexperience difficult. She dealt with them successfully because of her survivalattitude which was that "first year of teaching will have its ups and downs". Herpositive relationships with others and her attitude of optimism made thedifference!4.7 Summary of the six casesThese stories highlight some of the experiences of these six first year teachers.Their perceptions of problems encountered, support received and dilemmasexperienced provide us with some insights into what happened in their first year ofteaching as they participated in the Wellington School District's Beginning Teacher98Induction/Mentoring Program. Despite their different backgrounds and individualteaching situations, they experienced some common perceptions of being first yearteachers. Their stories illustrate their concerns, supportive relationships, anddilemmas. In the next chapter, further analysis of these common themes ofexperiences will be described.99Chapter 5Common Perceptions5.0^IntroductionThis chapter describes the common themes of experiences amongst the sixbeginning teachers participating in the Wellington School District's BeginningTeacher Induction/Mentoring Program. These common themes will relate to thetwo research questions addressed by the study: what are the perceptions of sixbeginning teachers participating in a District Induction Program about theirexperiences teaching (what types of support did they receive in their schools fromthe Program) and what are the beginning teachers' perceptions of the value of theDistrict-wide component of the Induction Program?The first part of the chapter focusses on the common themes of experiences ofthe beginning teachers while the second part focusses on the perceived value of theinduction program on their first year of teaching.5.1 Beginning Teachers' Common ThemesThe discussion in this section was drawn from the analyzed data from the sixmini-case studies. Common themes of experiences amongst the six beginningteachers are described. It was evident that there were factors that could eithersupport or challenge teachers in their first year of teaching. Two common themeswere identified by these six beginning teachers: stress and supportive relationships.Table 5.1 summarizes the themes from each mini-case study as identified in Chapter100Experience supportiverelationshipsstress classroommanagementTeacherKatey x xLeigh x xMargaretSuex xxSusan x x xTracy x x xotherlonelinesstching philos, being unawarejob sharing, diversitylack of supportlack of materialsfour. In Chapter four, a theme was identified "if the issue, concern or dilemmaspersisted throughout the year and was discussed in all four interviews".TABLE 5.1 Summary of themes from the six case studies5.1.1 Common theme - stressFor all six beginning teachers, one common theme was identified. They allfelt stressed in their first year of teaching. Feeling stressed, tired and overwhelmedlooked generally the same for all six teachers: "drowning in information" asexpressed by Susan; "trying to catchup but always falling behind" as stated by Sue;"dealing with neurotic parents" as maintained by Leigh; and "consumed byteaching" as described by Katey, Margaret and Tracy. These feelings of stress resultedfrom too much planning, marking, and paperwork, and never having enough time.These beginning teachers were concerned about teacher stress leading to burnoutand expressed the advice of "not doing it alone" (Susan, Margaret), "asking for help"(Katey, Leigh), and "getting support". In addition, they expressed the need for a101'balanced life" and stated that "teaching should not consume your life".The start of the school year was considered the most stressful part of theentire year. Changing schools in September caused a great deal of stress for Kateywhile changing teaching assignments stressed Sue. Tracy felt November was theworst month because of all the activities she was involved in, and Susan feltfrustrated by the whole first term because of the planning and marking. Leigh wasoverwhelmed in September because of "neurotic parents" and Margaret wasstressed by having to deal with "needy kids". Only after Christmas break did eventsstart to look better for some of these beginning teachers.5.1.2 Common theme - supportive relationshipsThe second common theme was expressed by five of the beginning teachersin the study. Katey, Leigh, Margaret, Susan and Tracy identified supportiverelationships as an important experience in their first year of teaching. This supportwas generally described as either emotional or collaborative. Emotional support, asSusan described it, was the "warm fuzzy" statements and collaborative support wasdescribed as the co-planning experiences. In all cases there were at least two staffmembers identified in these supportive roles.Sue was the only beginning teacher in this study who expressed a lack ofsupport from her mentor and administrators. Although she received some supportfrom her mentor during the first three weeks of the school year, Sue lost access toher mentor when the timetable changed and she accepted the Kindergarten teachingassignment. During interviews three and four, Sue expressed appreciation to twoprimary teachers that she was getting support from (one of them was Katey, another102beginning teacher in this study).In the District induction program, each beginning teacher was, as Leighexpressed, "hooked" up with a mentor teacher. Of the six beginning teachers, threeof them (Leigh, Katey, Susan) received their main support from their respectivementor teachers. As for the other three, they received their support from other staffmembers: Margaret's support was mainly from her teaching partner and buddyteacher; Sue's support was from two primary teachers; and Tracy's support camefrom her three administrators.Table 5.2 identifies the factors that influenced the beginning teacher/mentorteacher relationship. The self rating scores in column two correspond to eachbeginning teacher's perceived level of success in her first year of teaching. The scaleranges from one (poor) to ten (excellent). Column three represents the beginningteachers' perceived level of support from their respective mentor teachers. Columnfour indicates the classroom proximity score which identifies the distance betweenthe beginning teacher's classroom and the mentor teacher's classroom. Each uniton this scale is equivalent to a 5 metre distance. In column five there is anindication by the beginning teacher as to the similarity in teaching assignmentsbetween the beginning teacher and mentor teacher.103Information self rating^support^classroom^similar teachingof success^from mentor proximity^assignmentscore* score**TeacherSusanTracyMargaretSueKatey^8^yes^2^yesLeigh^9 yes^2 yes8/9 yes 1 yes7 ro 5 yes7 ro 4 no6 no 3 yesTABLE 5.2^Beginning Teacher/Mentor Teacher RelationshipPerception by beginning teachersSelf rating scale:^1 (poor) to 10 (excellent)^perception of success in first year of teaching** Classroom proximity scale: 1^2^3^4^5Om 5m 10m 15m 20m distance between classroomsKatey, Leigh and Susan rated their first year of teaching as either an eight ornine out of a maximum of ten. These scores indicate a very high level of perceivedsuccess. The data in Table 5.2 show that these beginning teachers received supportfrom their respective mentor teachers, were close to their mentors' classrooms andhad reasons to collaborate with them because of their similar teaching assignments.Similar teaching assignments for these beginning teacher/mentor teacher teamshelped to promote collaboration: Katey and Louise planned experiences for grade3's; Leigh and Sue planned experiences for grade l's; and Susan and Leanne plannedlessons for Business Education 10.On the other hand, Tracy, Margaret and Sue experienced a more difficult year.As shown in Table 5.2, none of these beginning teachers received support from their104respective mentor teachers. Both Tracy and her mentor taught the Science 9 coursein French but due to the distance between their respective classrooms, they wereunable to collaborate. For Margaret, her teaching assignment was not only differentfrom her mentor, but their classrooms were in separate wings of the school andover a distance of 15 metres. In Sue's case, although she and her mentor were bothLA teachers, Sue worked with students in grades 6-7 while her mentor worked withstudents in grades 1-5. In addition, Sue's classroom was 10 metres from Mavis' LAresource center.All six beginning teachers experienced emotional support from theircolleagues and appreciated the encouraging comments and behaviours whichhelped them get through the tough days. An aspect of emotional support was"personal" support which was an important factor to consider in this analysis.Personal support is defined here as support provided by family or friends outside ofthe school. Three of the six beginning teachers indicated this personal support:Leigh from her husband; Sue from her family; and Tracy from her fiance.At the school, there were many relationships perceived as supportive inaddition to the mentors. They included support from: a formalized school-basedinduction group; administrators; and resource teachers.In three schools there were formalized school-based induction supportgroups that met on a regular basis to discuss issues which arose out of their teachingexperiences. In these induction groups, Leigh, Susan and Tracy, felt supported.Administrative support was appreciated too: Leigh received support in dealing witha parent; Margaret received instructional/collaborative support; and both Susan andTracy received support in dealing with discipline problems.105Four of the beginning teachers described situations where collaborativesupport occurred. Here collaborative support was defined as co-planning lessons,activities and units. Katey planned units with her mentor Louise, while Leighplanned multi-aging experiences with her mentors Sue and Jamie. Margaretplanned buddy reading progams with her buddy teacher Mark while Susan plannedBusiness Education lessons with her mentor Leanne.The schools' resource teachers were also a source of collaborative support forthe beginning teachers. Tracy worked with the Learning Assistance teacher to planmodified units and consulted with the counsellor on many occasions aboutstudents. Susan worked closely with her school counsellor while Margaretcollaborated with the LA teacher, the ESL teacher, the counsellor and the librarian tosupport the diverse needs of the children in her classroom.Other support personnel included women on staff, other teachers, teachingassistants, parent volunteers, and teacher consultants. Margaret received additionalsupport from her classroom assistant and a volunteer parent. Sue and Kateyreceived support from other primary teachers and Susan received additionalsupport from some of the women on staff. Both Margaret and Susan, invited schooldistrict consultants to support them in learning how to implement new teachingstrategies in their respective classrooms.Thus, many people were involved in providing the emotional, personal andcollaborative support to these six beginning teachers and helped to make their firstyear of teaching less difficult.1065.1.3 Common issues and dilemmas experienced by beginning teachersBesides the commonly perceived themes of stress and supportiverelationships, several other issues were identified by these beginning teachers ashaving an impact on their first year of teaching: classroom management, dealingwith parents, loneliness, teaching philosophy, lack of materials, job sharing, fears,teacher preparation programs, dealing with diversity, being unaware, andmisassignment. A brief discussion of these issues will be described in this section.Classroom management was identified by both Susan and Tracy. It took theform of either discipline or motivation. Both these secondary teachers experiencedconcerns about disruptive classes and had to recruit the support of theiradministrators.Leigh and Sue raised concerns about dealing with parents. Leigh had to dealwith an irate parent for the entire year while Sue experienced a frustrating situationwhere a parent complained to the principal about her program instead of informingher. In both cases Leigh and Sue were dealing with parents who had concerns aboutthe new Primary Program.Katey and Sue expressed concerns about loneliness and isolation. In theirsmall school, they had a difficult time finding someone to co-plan lessons withbecause they were the only ones in the school teaching their respective assignments.Sue, Leigh and Margaret were concerned about the contrasting philosophiesof hands-on discovery learning and the "traditional" methods of worksheets andbasal readers. Their understanding of the new Primary Program influenced the waythey planned their classroom experiences. This approach was not understood byparents and did not receive complete support from fellow staff members.107Margaret, Leigh, Sue, Katey and Tracy identified a lack of resources whichincluded: glue; math and science manipulatives; overhead projectors; andvideomachines. This caused frustration for these beginning teachers because, asTracy stated, a lack of materials should have "nothing to do with teaching".Leigh, Katey, and Sue were concerned with "not knowing" about certainschool routines and procedures such as sign-in attendance books, preparationperiods, and allocation of supplies. They attributed this "not knowing" to beinginexperienced new teachers, being taken advantaged of and not being included incertain decision making processes.Another concern identified by these first year teachers was fear. Both Leighand Susan initially feared their respective principals and experienced colleagues.Only time and getting to know them alleviated their fears but Susan remainedcautious. In addition, Susan feared, what she called, some of her "mean" and"manipulative" students, because she felt they would challenge her because of herinexperience. Sue and Leigh feared they might lose their jobs if they "rocked theboat" (as Leigh described), and complained about parental confrontations. Similarly,they were concerned and felt helpless as these parents gossiped to other parentsabout their teaching.Another major concern was with teacher preparation programs. They feltthat teacher preparation programs were too theoretical and did not prepare them forthe "real" teaching situations. For example, they felt that they were unprepared tocommunicate with parents (in parent conferences, about report cards, and about thephilosophies of the new programs). They also felt that there was very littleopportunity in the preparation programs to plan for yearlong classroom experiences108and ways to deal with the diversity in their classrooms which resulted frommainstreaming students.Misassignment also caused a great deal of stress for Sue, Susan and Tracy.This concern was the root of much of their anxiety in their first year of teaching.Sue taught Kindergarten and Learning Assistance. Susan taught Business Education10. Tracy taught Science 8 in English. All three of them had no universitypreparation or practicum experiences in these teaching assignments. It seemed thatthese misassignments led to a great deal of difficulties.Some of these issues could have been less stressful for these beginningteachers. Cuban refers to some of these issues as "dilemmas". A dilemma isdefined as a problem that didn't have a solution but only "good-enoughcompromises" (Cuban, 1992, p. 6). These beginning teachers were faced withdilemmas where there were no neat solution. If these identified issues could bereframed as dilemmas, then maybe these beginning teachers would have felt lessstressed. Four of these identified issues will be briefly described in the next fewparagraphs to illustrate what is meant by teaching dilemmas: asking for and gettingsupport; classroom management; teaching philosopy; and balance.A dilemma that Susan faced was whether to ask for support. If she asked forsupport, would she be perceived as being inadequate? Beginning teachers need to besupported by people, time and resources but how much support is required and howdo others perceive these request for support? How do we ensure that it isappropriate to ask for support? Without the necessary support beginning teacherswill get stressed.A dilemma for Tracy and Susan was their approach to classroom109management: should teachers be firm or easy? Should teachers developfriendships with their students? Tracy was always sensitive to students' moods andwould explain their disruptive behaviours by saying "it's close to Christmas", and"when I'm absent, they get restless". Susan needed positive feedback from herstudents and when they said things like "that was excellent", "it was so interesting",she felt good (Interview 4). It seemed that Tracy and Susan needed to be comfortablewith their approaches to classroom management and both knew that developingtheir own style would happen after more experience.Leigh, Margaret and Sue were faced with a teaching philosophy dilemma.Should they set up programs that used the traditional worksheets and basal readersapproach or the discovery, hands-on learning approach? To heighten theirdilemma, there were the expectations of parents. For Leigh and Sue, this hands-onapproach was perceived by some parents and teachers, as (Leigh called it) just"playing" around but for them, this approach created fun, learning experiences forchildren. Tracy encountered this dilemma of traditional approach versus the hands-on approach when she discussed the issue of preparing for substitutes. Shesuggested that the instructional method for students in the presence of a substitutewas to read and to do work out of the textbook as compared to the instructionalmethods she would use which would be hands-on labs and discussions.A final dilemma for these six beginning teachers was how to maintain a'balanced life" as a first year teacher. Teaching was a very time consuming career. Ittook longer to plan great lessons if you were a beginning teacher so how much timeshould be spent on planning? Can you still have a life if you were a beginningteacher? Should you ignore your personal expectations of being the best teacher for110these kids or should you compromise and be an adequate teacher and try to survivethe year? As Lortie (1975) stated, the beginning teacher was responsible for teachingstudents from the very first day and was expected to perform the very same tasksthat the veteran of 25 years performed. "Tasks are not added sequentially to allowfor a gradual increase in skill and knowledge; the beginner learns while performingthe full complement of teaching duties" (1975, p.72). Was this expectation toperform well realistic? Who's expectation was this? How could you maintain abalanced life in your first years of teaching?Thus, it appears that teaching is about "managing dilemmas". Thesedilemmas cannot be ignored and there are no quick-fix easy answers but experienceover time makes a difference. These beginning teachers are just starting theircareers and may be encountering some of these issues for the first time. Reframingthese issues in terms of dilemmas would make it less stressful for, them becauseinstead of looking for "neat solutions", they could be managing them over timewith an understanding that these dilemmas were endemic to teaching.5.2 Beginning Teachers' Perceptions - value of the District-wide component ofthe Induction ProgramThe discussion in this section was based on the analysis of the beginningteachers' experiences related to the Wellington School District's Beginning TeacherInduction/Mentoring Program. There were two components to this Districtinduction program: school-based and district. From the previous section, thesebeginning teachers described their experiences at the school level in terms ofperceived concerns, level of support and dilemmas encountered. They described111their experiences in the context of being in their schools. In this section, they willdescribe their perceptions of the District component of the induction program.The Wellington School District's Beginning Teacher Induction/MentoringProgram was perceived by these six beginning teachers to be supportive andbeneficial. Tracy said, "I just like the fact... that the school district is at leastconsidering new teachers and is taking care of them" (Interview 1) whereas Susanremarked that the, "induction program is very worthwhile. It is really needed andappreciated. It's good that somebody cares. Yeh, the first year is not easy [and] noyou don't have to totally do it yourself. There is some support for you" (Interview4).The District component consisted of workshops and support by the districtresource team. The content of the workshops presented during the year wereconsidered by the beginning teachers to be very relevant. Topics included:description of the induction program; getting started; classroom management;assessment strategies; reporting to parent; dealing with diversity; and planning foractive learning. In addition, the format and timing of the workshops were found tobe appropriate. These beginning teachers liked the variety of being able toparticipate in small, whole and focus group discussions and valued the flexibility ofbeing able to attend during morning, afterschool or all day workshop sessions.They also found the handouts at the workshops useful and practical.In addition, they appreciated the introductions to district personnel and thetime for discussion with other first year teachers. Katey was quite specific in whatshe valued, "I think the people who were putting the program together made a realeffort to inform us. They gave us lists of names of people from the board office and112the [district support team]. So I feel like I have a good base. Like I know who tophone, who to consult with, and who to talk to if I do have a problem withsomething" (Interview 1).Through the induction program, professional development money wasallocated to each beginning teacher. This money was considered "wonderful"(Leigh, Katey) because it gave them opportunities to visit other classrooms and tocollaborate with other educators.The beginning teachers perceived the most important aspect of the Districtinduction program to be the mentorship component. Margaret stated that "I thinkthat the mentoring program, if it does nothing else, is good because it gives time fora beginning teacher to make a friend on staff and to make a close connection andthat is really important." (Interview 2). Leigh echoed these sentiments by saying, "Ithink it is a great program. I think the idea of putting mentors in the school isfantastic. I can't imagine anything more frightening than going to a school, being afirst year teacher there, and no one is there to welcome you or help you. The wholeprogram is wonderful" (Interview 4).In addition to their positive perceptions of the District induction program,these six beginning teachers made many suggestions to improve it. They suggested:fewer district sessions (Tracy), a one day summer seminar earlier in August (Sue,Margaret, Susan), and a September orientation later in September (Leigh). They feltthat there should be small group discussions around specific issues with examplesfrom specific grade levels and thus recommended separating elementary teachersfrom secondary teachers and also separating beginning teachers from experiencedteachers new to the District (Tracy, Leigh).113Several of the beginning teachers suggested that the duration of icebreakeractivities be shortened in order to have more time to focus on the practical issues of:planning lessons; sharing classroom management strategies; and planningactivities for active learning and inclusion (Leigh, Susan, Margaret). Additionaltopics suggested for future workshop sessions included: conflict resolution; dealingwith parents; strategies for multi-aging; and ways of working with each other. Itseemed important to these teachers that there were activities designed to establishsupport systems and to keep a "balanced life". A final recommendation by thesebeginning teachers was for the Induction Program to continue into a second year tosupport them in their second year of teaching.From these accounts, it seem that the District induction program wasvaluable and had an impact on the experiences of these six beginning teachers.They perceived that this program made a difference and supported them as theymade the transition from the university-based preparation program to full-timeemployment in the school.5.3 SummaryThis chapter identified common themes of experiences of the six beginningteachers in the Wellington School District's Beginning TeacherInduction/Mentoring Program. It seemed that the District program (both school-based and district-wide components) had an impact on their experiences and wasvalued by them. Their experiences reflected a difficult year filled with stress anddilemmas of teaching but these six teachers survived due to the support of theirmentors, administrators and other staff members. Here are some of their reflective114comments as expressed during the interviews. Sue commented, "I thought it was areally good idea. It really made you feel like part of the district. I really liked thewelcoming.... I really liked the district support" (Interview 2). Margaret maintainedthat, "the induction program does show beginning teachers that Wellington caresabout them and it values them as teachers and as professionals and it's willing to doanything that it can to welcome them to the profession of teaching.... (Interview 2).In reflection, Tracy commented, "I just want to be able to finish this year andsay that I know that I didn't do all the things that I wanted to do but it'sunderstandable because I was just keeping my head above water (Interview 3).Susan reflected, "I've tried to gear my teaching most of the time to have someengagement for the kids.... I've seen how I've grown. I've see how my strategieshave gotten better. I am definitely learning to deal with every situation betterespecially with kids" (Interview 4).For advice to other beginning teachers, Tracy said, "don't be discouraged"(Interview 4) while Margaret suggested, "you can't do everything all at once so doeverything one at a time.... Don't isolate yourself" (Interview 4). Sue commented,"take some time out to relax... be cautious... ask for help... be aware that a smallproblem could potentially lead into a bigger problem and jump on it right away"(Interview 3). Leigh suggested, "just relax... don't worry about things... it doesn'tmatter... I think you get caught up in teaching... stop pressuring yourself.... You haveto sit back... do your best but don't worry. The most important thing is that if yourkids are having fun and they enjoy coming to school, then you are doing anexcellent job..." (Interview 4). Katey encouraged beginning teachers to "set highexpectations" (Interview 2). If something is bothering you, go and talk to someone.115It's so much better" (Interview 4).Thus, the District induction program had an effect on the experiences of thesebeginning teachers. As illustrated by their comments, they valued the program. Inthe final chapter, the major findings to the two research questions will be reviewedand linked to the literature review. In addition, other interesting issues arising outof the study will be identified and briefly discussed. In closing, implications forfuture research on induction programs will be raised.116Chapter 6Conclusions, Discussion, and Implications6.0 IntroductionThe conclusion, discussion, and implications for practice that appear in thischapter were drawn from the analysis of the data derived from the experiences ofthe six beginning teachers in the research study. This chapter is divided into foursections: review of the study; conclusions emerging from the two researchquestions; a discussion of the issues arising from the study; and implications forpractice and possibilities for future research.6.1 Review of the studyThe purpose of the study is two-fold: to gain some insights into theperceptions of beginning teachers in a District Induction Program (in terms of theirperceived concerns, level of support and dilemmas encountered), and to determinethe value of the induction program on their first year teaching experiences.In this reseach study, a review of the literature on perceived problems ofbeginning teachers and types of support program, was conducted. The WellingtonSchool District's Beginning Teacher Induction/Mentoring Program was the contextfor this study. The program provided an induction experience for 85 first yearteachers and this study describes the experiences of six of those beginning teachers.The District induction program has two components: school-based anddistrict. The activities of these two components are designed to support beginningteachers as they are "led into" the teaching profession. The role of the district is to117provide an awareness of the program's goals through district-wide communicationand workshops presented by the district resource team while the role of the school isto provide specific day-to-day support for the beginning teacher through the mentorteacher, administrator and other teachers at the school.The six participants in the study were interviewed four times during the year.Their audiotaped interviews were transcribed and analyzed. Themes of experienceswere identified for each teacher and then common themes were identified based onthe experiences of all six teachers in their fist year of teaching.6.2^Conclusions emerging from the research questionsTwo general questions provided a focus for the study:• What are the perceptions of six beginning teachers, participating in aDistrict Induction Program, about their experiences teaching?• What types of support did they receive in their schools from theProgram?• What are the beginning teachers' perceptions of the value of the District-wide component of the Induction Program?Chapter four identified the themes of experiences for each beginning teacherwhile Chapter five identified their common themes of experiences.The findings to the first research question are outlined in Chapter five. Amajor common perception of concern amongst these six beginning teachers wasstress which could lead to burnout. This problem is identified in the literature(Schwab & Iwanicki, 1982; Gold, 1985; Maslach, Jackson & Schwab, 1986; Gold, 1987;Gold, 1989; Ayalon, 1989). The literature review (Veenman, 1984), howeverindicates that the number one problem for beginning teachers was classroommanagement. This issue will be discussed further in the next section.118Other concerns, identified by some but not all of these beginning teachers,include: classroom management; loneliness; teaching philosophy; being unaware ofschool routines; job sharing; dealing with diversity; and a lack of materials. Otherconcerns identified by a few teachers in specific interviews included: fear;motivating students; lack of planning time; misassignment; and teacher preparationprograms.These concerns, as Lortie (1975) points out, result from the fact that beginningteachers are responsible for teaching students from the very first day and areexpected to perform the very same tasks that the veteran of 25 years performs. Inthe study, these concerns led to three of the six beginning teachers feeling that theirfirst year of teaching was somewhat unsuccessful; they rated their experience a six orseven out of a maximum scale of ten.The findings in this study on perceived concerns were similar to thoseidentified in the literature review: classroom management (Clewitt, 1984; Odell1986a; Veenman, 1984); motivating students (Clewitt, 1984; Veenman, 1984);planning and instruction (Boccia, 1991; Clewitt, 1984; Covert et al, 1991; Odell 1986a;Ryan, 1986); loneliness and isolation (Cochran-Smith, 1991; Feinman-Mesmser &Floden, 1986; Little, 1981; Lortie, 1975; Sarason, 1971); misassignment (Clewitt, 1984;Hoffman et al, 1985; Huling-Austin et al, 1986; Lortie, 1975; Sullivan, 1988); lack oftime (Ayalon, 1989; Snow, 1988, Clewitt, 1984); teaching preparation programs(Snow, 1988); lack of materials (Odell 1986a; Veenman, 1984); and dealing withdiversity (Veenman, 1984).Many of these identified concerns, issues and problems have no quick-fixsolutions. Cuban (1992) calls these concerns "dilemmas" because he feels that only119temporary "good-enough compromises" result and that renegotiation of theproblems must continually occur. "Dilemmas" recur frequently throughout ateaching career and are endemic to the teaching profession. In Chapter five, therewas a brief discussion on dilemmas such as classroom management, teachingphilosophy, asking for and getting support, and a "balanced life".The findings of this study led to a second common theme. Five of thebeginning teachers experienced supportive relationships. This support was furtherdefined as emotional, personal and collaborative. These beginning teachersperceived strong support from various staff members at the school including:mentors, buddy teachers, teaching partners, administrators, resource teachers,counsellors, and members of their school-based induction groups. The mentorrelationship was identified as the most important support in three of the mini-casestudies. This support was central to assisting the beginning teachers "survive" theirfirst year of teaching. The important role of support teachers has been documentedin the literature review as a key to the success of first year teachers (Brooks, 1987; Fox& Singletary, 1986; Kester & Marockie, 1987; Jensen, 1987; Huffman Sr Leak, 1986;Huling-Austin et al, 1986; Huling-Austin, 1989; Lewis, 1980; Marshall, 1983).In addition, as described in Chapter five, in the cases where the mentorteacher was the key support component, the factors of pairing the experiencedteacher with the beginning teacher based on close proximity of classrooms, similarteaching assignments and compatible personalities, made the difference. Thesefactors were amongst the ones identified by Huling-Austin (1986).The findings to the second research question are found in Chapters four andfive. The six beginning teachers in this study perceived the District induction120program to be supportive and valuable. They appreciated the opportunities to meetwith each other on a regular basis to discuss issues that were identified by them.Such topics included classroom management, assessment strategies, ways ofcommunicating with parents, and planning for active learning. In addtion to theseworkshops, they appreciated other aspects of the district program which included: ahandbook (containing information on materials, district personnel etc.); severalorientation workshops to participants in the induction program; a mechanism formonitoring and dealing with issues that arose related to the induction program;ongoing support by the district resource team of consultants; and, funding forrelease time to visit other schools, attend district workshops and, planning withmentor teachers.These induction program components have been identified as beingimportant and have been documented in the literature by many researchers,specifically: orientation meetings (Grant & Zeichner, 1981; Huling-Austin, 1989;Kester & Marockie, 1987; Marshall, 1983); workshops on planning and teaching(Grant & Zeichner, 1981; Kester & Marockie, 1987; Huling-Austin, 1989); release time(Huling-Austin, 1989; Lewis, 1980); support group meetings for beginning teachers(Fox & Singletary, 1986; Huling-Austin, 1989; Lewis, 1980); and handbook containinginformation about policies and practices (Marshall, 1983).The findings in this study lead to several conclusions: beginning teachersexperience difficulties and dilemmas in their first year of teaching; an inductionprogram can support beginning teachers in managing these dilemmas; and aninduction program can assist beginning teachers to survive their first year ofteaching. The findings also lead to a general conclusion that induction success is121very much dependent on the context of each beginning teacher, specifically thecharacteristics of the beginning teacher, the context of the teaching situation, and thesupport available for that beginning teacher.Thus, the District induction program was perceived as valuable, responsive,supportive and making a difference to the beginning teachers' first year of teaching.However, it seemed that the best effects of the induction program were felt at theschool level. The District component of the induction program increased theawareness of the program's goals but the beginning teachers concluded that theschool program was what made the difference. The main support componentoccurred at the school.6.3 Discussion of the Issues Arising out of the StudyIt is evident from this study that induction success for each teacher isdependent on the characteristics of each beginning teacher (e.g. confidence, previousexperience, teaching preparation, etc.); the context of the teaching situation (e.g. classsize, teaching assignment, class composition, supplies and materials, etc.); and thesupport program available for that beginning teacher (e.g.mentor teacher,administrator, support staff, school-based induction program, etc.). This model isproposed by Huling-Austin and Murphy (1987)There are many similarities between the findings of the literature review andthe findings of the research study. The perceived concerns of beginning teachers asfound in the literature are reflected in the data obtained through interviews withthe six beginning teachers in the study. In addition, some of the support features ofthe Wellington School District's Beginning Teachers' Induction/Mentoring122Program are found in the literature review.The data from this study show that stress was the main concern of thesebeginning teachers. However, Veenman (1984) identifies the main problem to beclassroom management. This difference in perceived concern might be explained bythe actual presence of the induction program itself. If this is the case, then Odell's(1986c) work would reinforce this study's results. She concluded that by "offeringnew teachers structured support... school districts may help them diminish theirdiscipline problems, with the result that new teachers... will be able to focus more oninstructional rather than on disciplinary issues".It appears from the existing literature and from this research study thatinduction programs have a role to play in supporting beginning teachers. In thisstudy, the District induction program was multi-faceted. It provided beginningteachers with an orientation to the profession, assisted beginning teachers in dealingwith concerns ,related to teaching, and most importantly, included the role of amentor teacher. The presence of this induction program heightened the awarenessof the alarming attrition rates and emphasized the need to provide support forbeginning teachers. In this study the presence of the induction program indicatesthat the School District valued this type of activity and encouraged collaborationamongst teachers. In addition, the induction program symbolized to the beginningteachers that they were valuable to the District. Finally, the district-widecomponent provided a forum for beginning teachers to meet on a regular basis totalk about their experiences and to acknowledge that these experiences werecommon to all beginning teacher (Lortie, 1975); this perspective was critical inalleviating some of the stress these beginning teachers were encountering as they123managed the many dilemmas endemic to teaching.From the study, it seems that there is a role for both the district and school-based component of the induction program. The District provides general district-wide awareness of the program's goals, funding to support induction activities, andworkshops, while the school supports each individual first year teacher throughspecific school-based induction activities (by assigning a mentor, providing a tour ofthe school, providing supplies and equipment, information about school routinesand procedures, providing time for planning). The school-based induction activitieswere cited by the participants as being the most vital to surviving their first year ofteaching. Support at the school from mentor teachers and others made thedifference. These comments reinforce Fullan's (1991) finding that the locus ofchange is in the schools.Findings in the literature review and this study raise some additional issuesto be considered in designing induction programs. Such issues are: how can weensure appropriate teaching assignments for beginning teachers? How can we bestselect mentors? What is the role of administrators and other staff members insupporting beginning teachers? Is funding necessary to promote supportiverelationships? Who funds induction program activities? How much funding isenough? Should there be support for second and third year teachers? How cancollaboration between university programs and district programs be enhanced?Who else needs to be involved in designing and supporting induction programs?Are induction programs effective? How do you measure the success of inductionprograms? Which features of induction programs are critical to support newteachers? Two of these issues will be discussed in the next section; they are124selection of mentors and collaboration opportunities.To ensure that beginning teachers have support at their school, mentorteachers are identified. In three cases in this study, the beginning teacher/mentorteacher relationships were effective while in the cases of Tracy, Margaret and Sue,they were not effective. These beginning teachers made some suggestions toenhance this relationship: select the mentor early in September; ensure that theteaching assignments are similar; ensure that the classrooms are in close proximity;and try to ensure that both have compatible personalities. In addition, Suesuggested that if the teaching assignment was varied, the beginning teacher shouldhave access to several mentors. The one crucial factor was that the mentor must bea volunteer and had the "desire to want to be a mentor". Other questions arise:how do you select mentor teachers? Should they be selected by the administrator, byanother teacher or chosen by the beginning teacher? When should this assignmenttake place and how long should this relationship continue? How many mentorsshould be assigned to each beginning teacher? Should administrators be mentors?Members of the school are involved in supporting these beginning teachers.Different relationships were formed as the needs were identified. Hopefullycollaborative relationships, modelled with beginning teachers and their supportperson, can be viewed as beneficial to supporting the ongoing professionaldevelopment of all collaborators.The second issue of collaboration relates to the perspective that teachereducation is a continuous progress. This would imply a need for collaborationamongst educators to work together in pre-service, induction and in-serviceprograms (Cole & McNay, 1988; Fullan, 1991; Fullan & Connelly, 1987; Griffin et al,1251983; Huling-Austin, 1990; Sullivan, 1988). Partnerships might include ministriesof education, teacher federations, university education faculty members, schooldistrict personnel, and school-based personnel. Fullan maintains that,a final critical point should be made. Induction programs should notbe seen simply as an add-on. It is vitally important that the pre-serviceyear of the fifth year programs and the induction year be considered intandem in order to strengthen the developmental links between thetwo. Put another way, faculties of education should be involved ininduction programs, just as school people should be involved inpreservice program. Induction provides a golden opportunity to makepart of the teacher education continuum a realilty. (p. 309)Similarly, Cuban (1992), comments that "as we manage dilemmas in teaching,we should be building professional communities" and thus, all educators have arole in trying to design, support and build structures to ensure beginning teachersuccess.In addition to raising these additional issues, this study also surfaced someinteresting notions: stages of concerns for beginning teacher and their relationshipto specific induction program components; teaching as managing dilemmas andhow it can alleviate "corrosive guilt" (Cuban, 1992); and how professionalcommunities can collaborate effectively to design effective teacher educationprograms (pre-service, induction, in-service).Teacher stress and attrition may be reduced if we manage dilemmas whilebuilding professional communities. If we re-examine Veenman's (1984) top eightperceived problems of beginning teachers and reframe them as dilemmas, teacherswill be less hard on themselves and consequently be less stressed and moreconfident in their teaching. For beginning teachers, this will be a very healthyattitude and will remove some of the pressures they feel as they manage the manydilemmas they encounter in the classroom.126In addition, "professionalism among different levels of teachers can bemade... based upon commonalities in teaching" (Cuban, 1992, p. 10). We, asmembers of the educational communities, can choose to work together in managingthe dilemmas of teaching. We can engage in collaborative inquiry to managedilemmas endemic to our profession. We can collaborate to design supportprograms to ensure that our newest members of the teaching profession participatefully and successfully in this professional community. As we engage incollaborative inquiry, we acknowledge that learning is an ongoing process and thatthrough reflection we can strengthen our practice of teaching.Huling-Austin(1990) maintains that researchers and practitioners agree thatthere is a need for various educational agencies to collaborate in providing supportand assistance to beginning teachers. The dilemma that would result would be toidentify the roles and responsibilities of these groups in the induction process. Thisdilemma will be an ideal vehicle for professional communities to deal with. Theultimate beneficiaries of our collaboration will be our students.In reviewing the literature on beginning teacher problems and supportprograms, and from the experiences of the six beginning teachers documented in thestudy, it appears that induction programs are necessary to support beginningteachers as they deal with dilemmas in their first years of teaching. The twoperspectives: teaching as managing of dilemmas, and teacher education as acontinuous process, can be used by educators (university education preparationprofessors, university researchers, school district decision-makers, state/ministryeducation departments, teacher federations, teacher associations, etc.,) in designinginduction programs that will make a difference in supporting beginning teachers in127managing those dilemmas.6.4^Implications for Practice and Future ResearchThe findings of this study have implications for pre-service programs, designsfor induction programs, and for future research.At the pre-service level, inclusion of research on beginning teachers' stages ofconcern in the university preparation program may better prepare graduates fortheir initial years in teaching. In addition, data about teacher attrition and ways toalleviate burnout and stress should be discussed.Once in the teaching profession, new teachers need induction support whichis responsive to their needs, compatible with the school setting which they worked,and consistent with the commitment to best practice. Accordingly, an inductionprogram which engages the beginning teacher, school and district personnel, anduniversity faculty in design and implementation offer the promise not only ofsupport but of continue growth and increased confidence for new teachers.Partnerships with other agencies, such as ministries of education and teacherfederations, can only enchance the potential of the induction programs.Findings of the study underscore the importance of planning for a successfulfirst year experience for teachers. This means providing a teaching situation where:the teaching assignment is appropriate; there is an availability of support teacher(s);and where there is adequate time for planning and instruction. These features mayreduce beginning teacher stress and burnout and consequently reduce teacherattrition. In designing induction programs, developers should keep in mind theissues identified in this chapter and in Chapter two. Induction program developers128should keep in mind issues like: do induction programs contribute or hinder newteachers' estimations of their own efficacy? (Griffin, 1985); effectiveness of inductionprograms (McCaleb, 1985; Brooks, 1987); and influence of context on inductionprograms (Murphy & Huling-Austin , 1987; Zeichner, 1982; ERIC Digest, 1986c).In terms of further research, this study's findings suggest that there is a needfor understanding the beginning teacher experience over a longer time frame and todesign induction programs to support them given their respective contexts.There are many questions arising from this study. Some of them havealready be raised in the previous protion of this chapter. Some immediate questionsare: how we can begin to understand the dilemmas of how best to select mentors?What components of induction programs are essential given specific contexts? Howcan we create school environments for collaboration? How can we create a schoolculture where induction activities are integral fabrics of the school?In closing, I would like to state that "induction programs do make adifference" for beginning teachers. The findings from this study support thedescriptive studies found in the literature review. We, as educators, need tocollaboratively plan for successful teaching experiences for beginning teachers. Iagree with Fullan (1991), that "induction support is powerfully sensible, and themany potential and actual benefits for new teachers, mentors, and their schools aresoon intuitively, if not actually, realized as people try out induction programs" (p.309). What's worth fighting for is thateach and every teacher has a direct responsibility for helping to shapethe quality of the next generation of teachers.... however good newteachers may be in academic qualifications and experiences, they stillrepresent only raw potential. The conditions of teaching especially atthe beginning, influence and sometimes determine how good a newteacher will become. This one teacher will in turn affect the quality of129learning experiences of hundreds of children over the next thirty years.What's worth fighting for is to make sure that these new teachers havebetter, much better, conditions for having a career.... While these arespecific forms of support, we must also emphasize that they proliferatewhen the entire staff of a school sees it as a whole-school responsibilityto welcome and support newcomers. And when the whole culture ofthe school is routinely collaborative, the help that new teachers receivewill not be seen as special or patronizing. It will be part of the helpingculture that connects all teachers as learning professionals. Few thingscould be so important as interactive professionalism in the service ofbetter beginnings for the thousands of new teachers currently enteringthe profession. (Fullan and Hargreaves, 1991, pp. 78-79)130ReferencesAction in Teacher Education. (Winter, 1987), 8(4).Allen, S. (1986). 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A legacy for learners: The report of the royal commission oneducation. Victoria: Province of British Columbia.Summers, J.A. (1987). Summative evaluation report: Project CREDIT. Terre Haute,IN: Indiana State University, School of Education.Tabachnick, B.R., & Zeichner, K.M. (1985).^The development of teacherperspectives: Final report. Madison: Wisconsin Center for EducationResearch.140Tabachnick, B.R., Zeichner, K.M., Densmore, K., & Hudak, G. (1983, April). Thedevelopment of teacher perspectives. Paper presented at the annual meetingof the American Educational Research Association, Montreal.Taylor, J.K., & Dale, I.R. (1971); A survey of teachers in their first year of service.Bristol: University of Bristol, Institute of Education.Teacher Education. (January-February, 1986). 37(1).Theory Into Practice. (Summer, 1988). 27(3).Titley, B. (1984). The concept of internship in teacher education. Teacher Education,24, 84-93.Tisher, R.P. (1982, March). Teacher induction: An international perspective onresearch and programs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of theAmerican Educational Research Association, New York.Tisher, R.P., Fyfield, J.A., & Taylor, S.M. (1979). Beginning to teach: The inductionof beginning teachers in Australia (Vols. 1,2). Canberra: AustralianGovernment Publishing Service.Tisher, R.P. (Ed.). (1978). The induction of beginning teachers in AustraliaMelbourne, Australia: Monash University.Tom, A. (1984). The moral craft of teaching. New York: Longman.Unrah, A., & Turner, E.H. (1970). Supervision for Change and Innovation. Boston:Houghton Mifflin.Varah,^Theune, W.S., & Parker, L. (1986). Beginning teachers: Sink or swim?Journal of Teacher Education, 37(1), 30-34.Veenman, S. (1984). Perceived problems of beginning teachers. Review ofEducational Research, Summer, 54(2), 143-178.Watts, H. (1980). Starting out, moving on, running ahead, or how teachers' centerscan attend to stages in teachers' development. San Francisco: Far WestLaboratory.Wildman, T.M. (1985).^Supplement to the beginning teachers' handbookBlacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Collegeof Education.Wildman, T.M., Niles, J.A., Magliaro, S.G., McLaughlin, R.A1, & Drill, L.G. (1987).Virginia's colleague teacher project: Focus on beginning teachers' adaptationto teaching. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the AmericanEducational Research Association, Washington, DC.141Williams, L.E. (1976). Perceptions of the problems of beginning teachers and therelationship of the problems to selected variables. (Doctoral dissertation,University of Georgia).Yin, R.K. (1984). Case study research: Design and methods. England: SagePublications, Inc.York, L.J. (1967). Relationships between problems of beginning elementary teachers,their personal characteristics, and their preference for in-service education.(Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University).Yosha, P. (1991, April). The benefits of an induction program: What do mentorsand novices say? Paper presented as Part 5 of Symposium: Connecticut'sCommitment to the Teaching Profession: A focus on induction at the AERAannual meeting, Chicago.Zeichner, K. (1983). Individual and institutional factors related to the socializationof teaching. In G. Griffin & H. Hukill (Eds.), First years of teaching: What arethe pertinent issues?. Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, R & DCenter for Teacher Education.Zeichner, K. (1982j, April). Why bother with induction? Paper presented at theannual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, NewYork.Zeichner, K. (1979). Teacher induction practices in the United States and GreatBritain. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Department of Curriculumand Instruction.142Appendix A: Recruitment LetterSeptember 18, 1991Dear Teacher,I am currently pursuing a master's program in the Faculty of Education at theUniversity of Brighouse. The title of my proposed study is "1991/92 WellingtonSchool District's Beginning Teacher Induction/Mentoring Program".My thesis will describe the 1991/92 Wellington Beginning TeacherInduction/Mentoring Program and the perceptions that beginning teachers haveabout the program. My thesis questions are:• What are some perceptions of beginning teachers participating in a Districtinduction program?• What are the beginning teachers' perceptions of the value of the District-wide component of the induction program?For this study, an ethnographic design is considered appropriate and thus Ihave invited Nadine Binkley, a Ph D student from the university to assist me indocumenting the data. Her role will be to interview the volunteer participantsabout their perceptions of the Teacher Induction program and this will involve nomore than four interviews (maximum 2 hours total) during the year. The dataobtained will be kept confidential and will be read only by the persons conductingthe study. Analysis and research findings will be shared with the volunteerparticipants. In addition, your name will not be identified and any tape recordingswill be destroyed at the conclusion of the study.The proposed study has significant potential benefits because it will contributeto the improvement of Wellington School District's Beginning TeacherInduction/Mentoring Program and thus will hopefully help to foster a moreeffective supportive climate for new teachers which will result in minimizingteacher attrition.Please indicate your consent to participate in this study by completing theform attached. If at any time you choose to withdraw from the study you may do sowithout being prejudiced. If you have any questions you may contact me at 668-7077(o) or 255-9437 (h). I appreciate your consideration of this request and I am hopethat you will look forward to participating in this study.Sincerely,Wendy Lim, Masters Studentcc^Dr. Gaalen Erickson, Faculty Adviser/Co-researcher, Faculty of EducationNadine Binkley, Research Assistant, Faculty of EducationDirector, Learning Services Department, Wellington School Board/2143-2-Consent FormI^ , consent to participate in the study"1991/92 Wellington School District's Beginning Teacher Induction/MentoringProgram" with co-researcher Wendy Lim.Signature of TeacherDatePlease return this portion to Wendy at the Wellington School Board Office as soonas possible. Thanks.144Appendix B - Letter of ConfirmationSeptember 30, 1991DearRe: 1991/1992 Wellington School District's Beginning TeacherInduction/Mentoring Program: Participation in the Research StudyI hope that everything is going well as you are heading into October, yoursecond month of teaching!Thank you very much for agreeing to participate in this exciting study. Asdescribed in my earlier discussions, my thesis questions for this study are:• What are some perceptions of beginning teachers participating in a Districtinduction program?• What are the beginning teachers' perceptions of the value of the District-wide component of the induction program?I have been meeting with Nadine Binkley, the research assistant, and she willbe contacting you four times during the year to interview you. Each interview willlast about 30 minutes and each session will be audiotaped. I would like to reassureyou that: your name will not be identified, in the study you will be given apsuedonym, the data collected will be kept confidential and any tape recordings willbe destroyed at the conclusion of the study. I am interested in your perceptions andexperiences in the Teacher Induction Program so that future programs will bettermeet the needs of beginning teachers.Nadine and I will be contacting you directly at the school and will be settingup appropriate times with you for the interviews. The four interview dates havebeen scheduled for October, December, February/March, and May of this school year.If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me anytime at 668-7077 (o) or255-9437 (h).Once again, I appreciate your enthusiasm in volunteering to participate in mystudy and I thank you in advance for putting the time aside to provide feedbackabout the Teacher Induction Program! Have a great 1991/92!Sincerely,Wendy Limc/o Wellington School Board Officecc^Nadine Binkley, Research Assistant, 266-0627 (h)145Appendix C - Interview ScheduleName Date #1 /place/time Date #2 /place/time Date #3 /place/time Date #4 /place/timeTracy^October 11, 1991 December 11, 1991 February 28, 1992 May 15, 199212:45, portable 9:30, portable 8:30, portable 8:30, portableSusan^October 22, 1992 December 6, 1991 February 27, 1992 May 13, 199211:45, classroom 11:45, classroom 11:30, classroom 11:50, classroomMarg^October 24, 1991 December 5, 1991 March 5, 1992 May 14, 199210:15, classroom 11:45, classroom 10:15, classroom 10:15, classroomSue^October 22, 1991 December 11, 1991 February 28, 1992 May 11, 199212:45, resource room 11:40, classroom 1:55, classroom 12:00, classroomKatey October 22, 1991 December 11, 1991 February 28, 1992 May 11, 199210:40, classroom 10:40, classroom 3:00, library 12:00, classroomLeigh^October 16, 1991 December 6, 1991 March 3, 1992 May 14, 199212:00, meeting room 9:00, classroom 7:45, classroom 7:55, classroom146Appendix D - Guiding Interview QuestionsInterview #1: October 1991Part 1: Confidentiality• everything you say in the interview will be kept confidential• you may withdraw from the study at any time without being prejudices• in the study you will be referred to by a pseudonym• you will get an opportunity to look at the analysis of the data obtained• the research findings will be used to make recommendations to improve thequality of the next teacher induction program• all tape recordings will be destroyed at the condusion of the study• "choose your pseudonym"Part 2: District-based Teacher Induction ProgramQ1 How did you find the August Orientation? preparing for students' arrival,planning the first days, introducing routines and expectations, teacher talkand classroom management.Q2 How did you find the September Orientation to the Teacher InductionProgram? Discussion of program philosophy, goals, roles and responsibilitieswith administrator, mentor teacher and beginning teacher; MentorTeacher/Beginning Teacher working together - observation cycle,coplan/coteach/coprocess, teacher talk, classroom management.Q3 How did you find the October session on Evaluation and Assessment?• did you find the materials useful, be specific• if you didn't go then why not and how did you get the information aboutthe various topicsPart 3: School-based Teacher Induction ProgramQ4 How are things going now in the school? Is this what you expected? How isthe mentoring relationship going? Which induction materials did you finduseful .... classroom management, organization....? Which alternate methodof pro-d have you done in place of the district workshops?• conduct a PMI reflection of the school-based experiences• Positive: what exciting school/classroom experience has happened• Minus:^what experience has been disturbing/concerns• Interesting: what interesting/unexpected experience has happened147Interview #2: December 1991Q1 How are things going? Is there anything that you would like to talk about?Q2a What does support mean to you as a beginning teacher? Who are you gettingsupport from? (mentor, other teachers, other beginning teachers,administrators, district people etc)Q2b What are your needs as a beginning teacher? Are they being met by theschool-based induction program? by the district inservices?Q3 Comment on the district inservices:October (evaluation); November (communication)• are they useful? explain• what would you like the next district inservice to focus on for all beginningteachers?Q4 Through the induction program, you are given a professional developmentbudget, do you anticipate using it all? Describe the activities that you areconsidering.Q5 How do you think a mentor should be selected? What are somecharacteristics of a mentor?If time permits, thenQ6 Tell me something exciting that has happened to you in your teaching sincewe last spoke. Thanks for being an important part of this study!148Interview #3: March 1992Q1 How are things going?• your current concerns, needs (now in your 7th month of teaching)• the support available to you (Mentor, administrator, other beginningteachers, other teachers etc)Q2 Tell me about you:• Teacher's age• age/grade (s) of students taught• total number of students taught (subjects if in secondary)• description of students (regular, ESL, Special needs, Learning disabled,TMH)• anything else about you and your context (teaching situation)Q3 Were you adequately prepared to teach in September?• did the Teacher Education program prepare you for your first year ofteaching?• did your practicum prepare you?• has your perception of teaching changed over the past 7 months?Q4^What did you think about the district workshops you've participated in thisyear?• topics (which was most valuable? classroom management, assessment,reporting, diversity)• formats (morning/afterschool, small group/whole group, focus group....)Q5 If you were giving the school board advice about changes in the inductionprogram based on your experiences, what suggestions would you make?• school program• district program149Interview #4: May 1992Q1 How's it going?Q2^Rate your first year's teaching experience from 1 (poor) to 10 (fantastic).Explain.• Describe some highlights.• Describe some lowlights.Q3 Review the Wellington Beginning Teacher Induction/Mentoring Programgoal:• to support beginning teachers as they make that transition from theuniversity to the school.Review the Induction components:• district workshops and school-based support via the mentor andadministrator• If you could sum up the program in one sentence, what could you say.• Did you feel supported in your first year? Explain.• Who made the most difference in supporting your teaching this year?• What would you have liked more support in?• What were some strengths in the program?• What are some weaknesses of the program?• Were you involved in any other professional development activities otherthan the workshops offered as part of the district induction component?Q4 What are some changes you will make in your teaching practice next year as aresult of the induction program?• What kind of support do you see yourself needing next year?Q5 What advice would you give beginning teachers next year?• How do you see yourself as a support person for next year's beginningteachers?Q6 If we were to continue this study, would you be willing to continue in thisstudy next year?150Appendix E - A Transcribed InterviewInterview #1: LeighWednesday, October 16, 199112-12:35, meeting room in officeL LeighI^InterviewerTranscriber Counter000I^The purpose of this study is here about first year teachers' experiences andthen to design induction programs that best support their needs.016I^Everything you say in the interviews will be kept confidential.031I^You may withdraw from the study at any time.035I^In the study you will be refered to by a pseudonym. Do you have one inmind? Okay, Leigh.045I^You might like the documentation of your growth and how your concernshave changed over time.L I'm sure they will change.055I^The district mentoring program consists of two components. It is districtfunded. There are district workshops that you can opt to go or not. The onlyreason we made September a must was because we wanted to make sure thatthe administrator, mentor teacher and beginning teacher all heard the samelanguage so that everybody knows what their roles areaL I think that was beneficial.065I^The second component is what's happening in the school with your mentorand other people who are supporting you to ensure that you will stay in theprofession. It's funded by the district.071What are your reactions to the summer seminar?L I really liked it. I thought it was really nice to get together with the otherteachers. From my point of view, it was nice to see who from [the university]is there because I recognized quite a few of the people, get to find out wherethe people are at, make connections if you wanted to work together. Now Itended to stay with the girl I was already working with but I know of otherpeople that I could connect with if I wanted to do some team planning orsomething like that so I found that really beneficial. I liked having the sessionand it was nice especially when we went through the management things. Ihad thought of everything else and I thought about planning my room. Thewhole room was completely decorated. That was done way ahead of time.Two weeks before people started so it was all ready but I hadn't gone through151and systematically thought about the first day, step by step by step. In the backof my mind I knew "okay I'm going to do this and this" but having youremind us during that session really hit home that "oh wait a minute, I haveto sit down and systematically plan this otherwise it'll be total chaos on thefirst day." So I found that really beneficial. It just drove home the notion that"look you really have to think about these things" and then we need to thinkalittle bit further than that for today. Okay. I wasn't worry about the first dayand I knew I could get all that organized but we have to get beyond the firstday. What are those things that we need to think about, the managementissues that I want to bring forward, how do I want to work on transition? Allthose things that you know were mulling around in the back of my mind.Then when you brought it forward in August, it really forced me to put itdown on paper. What exactly do I want to do. How do I want to go aboutdoing this? I mean I ended up leaving and working on rules for theclassroom with a girlfriend of mine and talking about what do we want tohave, what kind of rapport do we want to have in our room. We hadn'ttalked about it before. It was there, in my head but never really down onpaper so I found that really beneficial.114I^Were there other areas where you thought we could have focussed on?L No. I think that was really realistic. I don't think you need to go throughthat. We've all been through our practicum and we all went through ourpracticum in September so theoretically we should know what that first weekis going to look like. And I think maybe the only thing that I would havesuggested is reminding people don't go overboard that first week. Like don'tplan these incredible things because it's not realistic. It's not going to happen.You know, basically what's happening in the first week is alot ofmanagement in setting up routines and regulations and so you need to keepthat in the back of your mind. Don't jump into academics in that first week.101So was it enough preparation for you for the first week of school?L Oh yeh. I think it was but I also felt really confident about teaching so frommy point of view, I found it enough preparation and I had already had a twomonth long term sub in the summer, so I've sort of already been in there. Itwas in [Brakerton] for two months. I lucked in. And I had an excellentteacher who I was filling in for. She was on maternity leave. She was justincredible. I learned so much in those two months just from following herdayplans or outlines and all that sort of stuff. So if I hadn't been in thatposition, you might have included sample dayplans or ways of setting up theday. That might have been helpful but because of where I was coming from, Ifound that everything you did helpful.124I^What grade level are you teaching?L One. So we don't get into academics until January (laughs). I have a K-1 butthere's only three K's and they are dual entry K's so they have only been herefor six months. It's pretty much a straight one but what's nice about that isthat the school is moving towards multi-aging but because I was a newteacher coming in, they did not organize that way but I'm working on multi-aging with my mentors. So we actually combine three classes and we just152started today with a three class grouping. We have from K to 3 in individualcooperative groups and then we are all working together on a total project.They are wonderful in that way. I have two mentors and they are incredible,just amazing... The two mentors that I have, one use to be a first year teacherlast year and so they are doing alot of team work and so they would like athird so they sort of adopted me. It worked out really well. I would like to domulti-aging but if they had offered me the job of multi-aging straight off Iwouldn't have taken it. If they had said you've got a K-1-2, I would have saidI think I will look somewhere else. Because I as a beginning teacher I didn'tfeel confident in that. This way I have virtually a straight grade but I'mgetting all that experience by working with their classes and they know whatthey are doing so it's like having your cake and eating it too.152So then did you find the summer seminar prepared you somewhat for thebeginning?L Uh huh but I also think as I said before, I was already pretty confident becauseI had those two months in [Brakerton]. So maybe if you wanted to thinkabout improving, you might have added in some sample dayplans and somereassurance that you are not expected to be heavy into academics that firstweek because I think many people may have misconstrued that. It's easy todo. You think that "oh I have to get into this" without realizing that "no, no,no, you have to, my kids have to learn how to line up, how to sit still forlonger than three seconds", setting the routine before we get into those otherthings. So that might be mentioned but I'm assuming most people know thatbecause of their practicum. We started our practicum in September.182I^How about the September session when we had the principal, the mentorteacher and the inductee plan and talk about the mentoring program in themorning and then in the afternoon we continued with classroommanagement.L To tell you the truth, I really didn't like it. The problems that I had, I found itbeneficial to have a chance to talk to the mentor teacher. I found it went on174I^Was your mentor identified early so that she knew who you were?L Oh yeah, we had decided. They sort of decided that I was on the samewavelength as them, right at the beginning since the first staff meeting. Theyhave been incredibly helpful.164Anytime you want, if you want to identify a need that you had that you feltcould have been addressed at either the district level or that could havehappened at the school, feel free to share it.L Well, something that could have happened in the school is that I could havehad a tour of the school to show me where things were. I find that in a bigschool there's so many people and so many things are going on, you sort oflearn things by trial and error. I found out two weeks after school started thatwe had a sign in book (laughs) that I didn't even know so I'm finding alot ofthose things out gradually and that might have been helpful to have beenshown. And I think that people are showing me where to find things. It'sjust that they are busy too.153too long. I know we have to do these opening activities, I completely agreewith those. I did them in the classroom too. I just found it a little too long interms of getting-to-know-you type things. I really wanted to get to the meat ofgetting to talk to my mentor, finding out what we're going to do so I don'tknow, that might just be me. Other people might enjoy having those get-to-know-you activities but I personally would have preferred to just get over allthat stuff and get into talking to the principal, the mentor and finding outsome ideas of what we might want to do in the school because that was reallythe only official time to talk. The other time - you are going to make thattime outside of school but if we are there to do it anyways, I would havepreferred to have a longer time.197I When you had that time to talk, what happened?L We had some really good ideas about what we would like to do. It just wasn'tlong enough to really get sort of those things down. We thought okay weshould see one anothers' classrooms. Well by the time we decided on that itwas time to finish up the activity. That was the only problem. I think thatbecause it was something you really wanted to work on, it needed to be alonger time. And I really don't think people would have been off task eitherbecause we were all excited about "oh we are going to get to work with thisperson, what do we want to do" and by the time we thought about what wewanted to do, we were finished and we were going to do something else.208Did you find that this was too early in the year to pull you out with yourmentor to talk about this?L It might have been because we really haven't worked together. It's only nowthat we have started to work as a group. The three of us. We have talkedabout these ideas. Yeh it was too early because as a first year teacher, I reallywant to work with them and I'm just thrilled they want to work with me aswell but I have to get my room organized first. I have to get routinesestablished in there first. I have to know what I'm doing before I goanywhere else and so it's building rapport with the kids, it's establishing theroutines and expectations in your own classroom and how transitions aregoing to work - just the flow of basic every day life in your room before youstart going anywhere. Its disruptive for me to leave for half an hour. Theroom is a total chaos by the time I come back.220What would you recommend as a good first meeting where we can talk aboutthe program so that everyone has that same message and to allow for realstructured time for mentors and beginning teachers to talk?L I would have it in the last or third week in September, towards the end ofSeptember and you can do the same sort of thing. I just found that theintroductory activities took too long and you wouldn't have to do those ifyou did that later on because we would already know our administrator andour mentor at that time because there we are. We are doing this activity withthe principal who I hardly even know and now if we were doing the activitywith the principal it would be entirely different and you are also feeling morecomfortable with that person. I think in the beginning, at least in my case,"oh now the principal's here". I'm sweating already just as he's walking in154the room.236If you had a beginning of the year school problem, routines or whatever it is,who would you have gone to if you didn't know the structure of theinduction program?L I would have gone and just asked my mentor. But maybe some peoplewouldn't have done that. I think you could alleviate that whole session andput it at a later point in time if people felt comfortable with the people intheir school and I just happen to feel comfortable and if I'm having trouble,I'm going to ask someone, I'm not going to wait until disaster hits. Now Ican't say that's going to be the case for everybody. Maybe at this session wecould brainstorm who could you talk to in your school and if they didn't feelcomfortable talking to someone in their school then what about makingconnections with those of us who are there because I knew probably about athird of the people who were there from [the university]. And if they were inschool and they didn't feel comfortable talking to those people or they wereshy or whatever, they could always talk to me. They could phone me and askme and I would be more than happy to help. I did alot of that in thebeginning too. I talked to my girlfriend Juliet. You know, I phoned and say,"this isn't working." We did most of our planning together. Well now thatwe are both established. You know we still talk to one another but we arebreaking more into the groups at school. But it was getting initially ourselvesestablished at our level too. Because I think I couldn't have started workingwith Sue and Jamie right in September, I would have felt safer to get awaybecause what they are doing is incredible multi-aging and I'm trying to figureout what are we going to do tomorrow in math. I'm in a totally differentplane. I think it's important that you realize that if you are having trouble,you can either talk to the people in your school, talk to one of the person'sfrom [the university] or even you guys on the [district resource team].275I^What would make it a more valuable day for you?L^Maybe we could have done more than one scenario, like one that might haveapplied in all areas like a primary example, an intermediate example and asecondary example. We did do that in the roleplay, but the demonstrationmight have those different levels. I found that when you get into individualgroups it still very easy to focus on one person's difficulty and that's going to263What about the afternoon, classroom management one. The one with theroleplay?L I thought that was really good, I thought that we needed it a little bit longer inthe behaviour management. The practice, I found that we get off task ontosome specific problems and they didn't pertain to me but I think that's goingto happen in any case. I'm not sure there's alot you could have done toprevent that. I thought that going through the intervention line waswonderful, with grandma's rule and evil eye. All that stuff is perfect and it'sall stuff that we do and need to be reminded of because it's so easy to go froma point of minor misbehaviour to an escalation because you haven't gonethrough those steps so I found that really helpful. Actually I don't have anycomplaints about the second session.155happen in small groups. There's no way of getting around that but if thewhole issue has been addressed in the large group and if it does happenwhere you are focussing on one person's difficulty in the small group, youhaven't missed out because you've already had it in the large group. That's abigger time constraint for you. I'm not going to give you suggestions. Youhave to work them out (laughs).292I Why did you choose to go to the October afterschool workshop?L Because I'm too busy to go to any of the other ones and I know you said don'tgo to the afterschool one but I just thought for myself, to tell you the truth, Idon't want to be sitting around doing fun little introductory activities when Ihave alot to do so I figured I'm going for the meat of the stuff. They will onlyhave an hour and a half to do it. It's going to be crammed in there. I'm goingto get exactly what I want. No frills.298I How did you find that session?L It was good and I really liked that handout. The handout was fantastic. Itreminded me of the things that I know where to assess and I have been but Iwas thinking that "oh my I'm not doing this properly" and then I lookedthrough and I thought, "wait a minute, I do that", but it's just on a differenttype of paper but I am doing this and "oh I could do that." I found that thepaper was a goldmine.304Was there anything else in evaluation and assessment that you felt wouldhave helped you as a beginning teacher. How do you feel about evaluation?Does it stress you?L Writing the report card does but that's only because I have to get over thehabit of trying to say everything on one piece of paper and I have to let go andrealize that we are going to be have a parent meeting or a student-ledmeeting and that information will come across during that meeting andthat's only because I've only written one report card in my life and it wasstressful. When they were on Work to Rule [in Brakerton], they didn't haveany information so I felt like I had to get them an entire assessment of theirchild and I think that as time goes on I'll feel more confident about that. I'mnot sure there's alot you could do with a first year teacher about that.314How was the October session?L Again I went to the short one because I just wanted the meat. .... I'm just soincredibly busy and I know how long these report cards take. When I wrotethem in [Brakerton], it took me an hour a kid. I know that's 25 hours ofreport card writing and it's getting everything organized and reassessing howyou are going to say things. All that kind of stuff. Because I tend to be wordyso I have to be short and succinct and that's going to take me longer to do.What I'll do and this is what I did in [Brakerton], I wrote a few and I had anexperienced teacher read them and let me know where I could improve andduring that time she said "you know it's alittle wordy in this particular socialarea - you said alot in social development, I think you can eliminate alot ofthis and make this into one comment" and that was really helpful. I meanthat is a difficulty. I do tend to be wordy and it's nice to get help from156someone else. I'll just get Sue and Jamie to look over them. I give them 3 or4 and say what do you think of these. How's the format. What's the style?They've devised a format between the two of them on types of comments youcould make and so I'll take a look at that as well to help with wording andthose sort of things.341What is that team doing for you other than planning and sharing?L We actually have planning in the school set aside too for multi-aging teamsso we have days where we can meet to plan as a team. That comes out ofproD funding. The school decided on that last year and it's wonderful.We've already met once. Now Sue and Jamie are totally at a different levelthan I am. It's very easy to get overwhelmed but the point of meeting inthese groups is to discuss ideas. I don't have to be doing the same things thatthey are doing. We're bouncing ideas back and forth and I'm working atwhere I am and they are working at where they are and anything that we canbring together we do. So for instance, where all three of us are doing a studyon the forest. In my study of the forest, it's much different than theirs andthat's because of where my children are at and where I'm at as a teacher. Butthere's also things that we do together like today we started with doing themulti-age groupings between the three classes and we read a story, sort of astimulus for adopt a tree activity. The adopt a tree activity we will dotomorrow so those things we do will coincide and as time goes on, I thinkeven more things will. I will lose alot of the structures that I have because Imean I had these grandiose plans for, like a unit a month, and because Inever thought that I could study something for three months. It neveroccured to me. Well I have a feeling that our November unit will get pushedaround.361That sharing is very exciting. I think your mentors are learning from you toobecause you have exciting ideas to share.L^I hope so (laughs). Well I think it's really wonderful to be on a team. It's somuch better than trying to go it on your own. I remember when I wasinterviewed, Bob asked me how do you feel about team planning and I said Iloved it. Why would you want to do this by yourself? It's like swimmingupstream because you are only going to get so far with your ideas butsomebody else can springboard of what you've said and so on and so on andthese ideas could just keep building and building and building. You couldtake what you want and leave the rest. But it just makes so more sense thansitting at home, like I thought I would try to do a novel study because they areheavily into novel studies, but off course we're at an entirely different levelin grade one. Our novel is going to only have like 12 pages and I'm going to335I^Talk to me about the structure of your own school-based induction program.What's happening for you that's making you feel very supported. You'vetalked about the three of you on the one team - it's fabulous.L^There's alot of teams in the school, particularly in primary so it's very easy toget adopted into one of those teams and I just happened to be lucky enough toget adopted and both of my mentors are interested in multi-aging and sowe've been getting alot of experience in that area as well.157be reading it and all that kind of stuff and that's fine - I went home andthought about ideas for the novel study and then when we were gettingtogether, because we decided to do multi-aging, it sort of messed up the planthat I already had with the novel. Well they just helped me with another ideathat I could use instead so we could still do our multi-aging. And if I hadbeen at home, all I could think of was adoptinga tree at this point in the book.That's all I could think of and how are we going to do that as a group. Nowwhat am I going to do? Well we just spent a few minutes talking about whatabout this, what about that and I had an entirely different activity to do at thatpoint and I can still do my multi-age grouping with the adopted tree lesson.So just having somebody else to talk to and I think that anyone that works bythemselves is crazy.380Having you share this experience is very vital because I think there aredifferent ways that groups operate.L Well its the same with kids. You put them in a cooperative group and theywon't work together period. And I think that alot of experimenting will findout which kids will work well together. Same with adults. There's somepeople who I wouldn't work as well with so you have to find the person whoyou can work well with and it may only be one person. For a while mygirlfriend and I, whose also a first year teacher, were planning togetherbecause we were in the same place. As we continued to grow as teachers,we'd phone one another to find out "what's happening. Do you have a goodidea", and I can phone her and tell her we did this, this, and this and so shecan take that back to her school to see if her mentors want to try multi-aging.But we are each learning from our school and from one another so we haveall these different networks.401You are in control of that money. Even if you wanted to spend it on multi-aging conferences.L I think we'd also like to do some observing of each other and other schools. Iknow that I subbed at [Macklean Elementary] and that was an experience of alifetime. I mean walking in from a straight grade one practicum into a K-1-2,it was just unbelievable. I think observing teachers that are doing multi-aging effectively will be helpful. We haven't observed each other yet. We'vetalked about that. It's just a matter of organizing it all. We have alot of plansand we have done alot of planning but we haven't been in to observe yet andwe do plan to do that. It's just a matter of trying to structure schedules.When can I go and who can do this. Ten to one, when you have a spare,something, comes up where you are dealing with someone else, another392I^How are you going to use your money if you are getting all this releasealready?L I have no idea (laughs). But the release time in the school on Wednesday isshared amongst teams so we've only done this once. The three of us. Whatthey are trying to do is get primary teams working and so there's a FrenchImmersion team that might use that time one Wednesday and another teammight come in and use it another Wednesday. So when you get a rotation, ittakes a while before your team comes up. We also meet afterschool.158resource person and that you don't get to go there. So that's been the onlydrawback. It's just trying to organize.416If you were designing the teacher induction program for [Wellington] and ithad two components, the district component and the school component,what are some areas that you would focus on especially for the first threemonths? Are your needs being met? Are you feeling very supported andhow?L I feel really supported, and it's in the school. The staff is incredible. I thinkthat's a big factor. If you have a very warm willing staff, then that can makeyour first year a whole lot better because that first month, I mean I'm notstressed now, but that first month was awful. I had neurotic parents with alltheir concerns coming. I think alot of parents are concerned about first yearteachers and whether or not you're capable and maybe you might have addedsomething like that to say "get ready for those parents that come and want toknow why you are doing invented spelling and what the heck is this", "howcome you haven't corrected this", and want to know what exactly you aredoing. "Are you sure you know what you are doing because I know you don'thave any experience". That first month was a nightmare, because I wouldnever ever dream that anyone would question what I was doing. I've dealtwith them (parents) now but if I had been made aware at first, but, it justnever occured to me. I'm left to my little dreamworld and thought "of courseeveryone's going to understand invented spelling. They are going to loveme. They are going to know that I am the teacher. Of course they are going tothink that I am capable. No one will ever question this." And what ends uphappening is that for some parents, they see you as a first year teacher. If theyhappen to know, and in our case, it was put in the newsletter so they knew. Ididn't necessary agree with that but, ah, once they knew I was a first yearteacher, all of a sudden they had these grave concerns. Even though I senthome an entire information booklet about everything I do in the classroom,there were still were some people who were unsure.438How did you get through the first month? Did you get support from yourmentors?L^I had some really crazy parents and we had a whole lynching ceremony but Imean I think if I were another person, I probably would not have handled itquite as well. Well I talked to my mentor teacher, I talked to the principal andthe VP and they were wonderful. And I also had alot of experience. I use towork for children's aide, so I'm use to this. If I didn't, I think it would havebeen a disaster. I potentially could have been packing my suitcase andleaving. I never thought anyone would question my experience. I think youshould cover communication with parents in the beginning. Parents won'twait until November, some will come in like seething volcanoes andwondering since they've been bothered about it since September. But alot ofparents will come in and say "how come you don't correct their spelling,what do you think you are doing here, why do you do this, why do you dothat", and parents who don't understand multi-aging, they are also there withconcerns "how come my kid gets kindergartens in their class?" They don'tunderstand that, and so I think you need to prepare teachers and let them159know "hey, start thinking about what you're doing and how you are going toanswer without being defensive before those people come knocking at yourdoor."456Tell me one of the most exciting thing that has happened to you over the lastsix weeks for you in teaching.L^Well seeing things that I never thought I could do in grade one working and Ithink that comes from Sue and Jamie. Well we're doing alot of hands-onmath. Math is incredible. I love math and I came from a practicum wheremath was very teacher directed, right out of a textbook, worksheets, all thatkind of stuff, so I didn't feel alot of excitement in that. I mean there was ademonstration by the teacher and then everybody get down and did Xnumber of pages in the book. So when I started to do Math their [Sue andJamie] way, I was using all hands- on math. I was encouraged from Sue whosaid to look through Explorations. The ideas in there are incredible. I waslooking around for MathQuest workbook. That's all I could think, and Suesaid "no, no no, look in Explorations. You don't need a workbook. Nevermind about tha. Take a look in there. I'll help you with any of these games."So I started with that, but I still wanted my workbook. And what got me offtrack was the administration said we're trying to get away from those mathconsumables, maybe if you need help from the [district resource team], we canget them. And I said, "I don't need help" but what I wasn't realizing was thatI don't need this workbook either, I can do a lot of fun exciting activitieswithout that and I just needed to free myself to say "oh if it's not all on paperthat's okay because the kids are doing all the learning through using [things]."I mean I have all these junk boxes. I have tons of stuff that I collected and itwas using that and seeing that they loved math". They don't even know theyare doing math. I mean today, we did math station for an entire full hourand they just rotated [through] the stations and did all this patterning and itwas a hoot compared to if I had given them a MathQuest workbook page andsaid now colour this square one. That was incredible!479How long did it take you to feel comfortable with the idea that it should all behands-on?L^It didn't take long. Sue pointed me out to the Exploration textbook and saidlook at the teachers' guide. The ideas are incredible. If you need any help askme. If you need any materials, ask me. Then when I couldn't get theseworkbooks and the administration said to "try to get away from theconsumables - if you really want them then.." I then said, what am I going todo know and I went to talk to Jamie and she said "we use scrapbooks. We doall our math in scrapbooks and allow the kids to, what ever the concept is, todraw in their scrapbook or glue or paste, or whatever, but it's all in that bookand it's entirely different. And it's not constrained like the workbooks." Ihad a problem with the workbooks anyways because half the time they don'tmake any sense. You can't understand the directions.488I^Why would you want something like that?L^I think I wanted something to show what they were doing. It was more forme so that I could see that they understood that and what I wasn't realizing160was that we could also do this in the scrapbook with less constraints and Icould still see the results of what they were learning because I just wanted formyself proof because when I am walking around and talking to the kids, I canfind out who knows what but some kids will fall through the cracks whenI'm doing that. I wanted another check and they absolutely love theseworkbooks. I mean, they don't even know they are doing math.497This is exciting.L^They really love math. I'm not kidding you. I came from a workbook "dothese pages." My sponsor teacher was like that and then I thought, "no, no,no, I want this to be fun." Math is going to be fun and part of it came from[Brakerton], I have to say, they didn't have any workbooks. They didn't haveany textbooks, so the teacher had to do all these exciting and fun activities andyou know, and basically the check was there in doing these hands onactivities and boy, the learning is incredible in that. I mean, they wereworking today, with seeds. They had four different types of seeds in one ofthe stations and they had to make a pattern and the only thing I suggested wasthat you start with two seeds at first because I have some kids who really havea hard time. They are just at an A, B, A, B, type of pattern and if I didn't givethem that type of constraint, they would be totally lost. I mean, it would bepandamonium so it was more for them. For those kids who were ready to doanother pattern, no problem, they could go on. And there they were gluingthese lima beans, gluing them onto this paper and this is incredible. It'samazing. It was the same thing yesterday when it was the beginning of thenovel study and all I ever showed them was the title and the cover. We readalittle bit. They weren't allowed to see any of the pictures and then they hadto create their idea of what was happening in the story and they arephenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. And they said, "how come we can'tsee the pictures" and I explained to them "well I want you to use yourimagination. I want to see your thoughts. We'll look at the artist's thoughtslater but I want to see yours for now." These are things that you have to letgo of. Alot of things that you learned at the university, even though theywere very progressive, they weren't as progressive as they could be and that'swhat I have to let go of. The teacher could be dynamic, amazing andincredible but you have to give the kids a chance to do that too. And I alreadyknow that I can do an exciting and incredible lesson and captivate audiencesbut how beneficial is my performing when they are going to learn so muchmore doing it on their own. Let them discover what is happening.Invariably they are better than I am because I am still gluing stuff in thosestupid math books and my goal is to get the kids to glue it in the mathbook.Last night I was gluing at 7 o'clock and I said to myself "why am I doing this?"I am doing this because I don't think they can glue it. This is ridiculous, ofcourse they can glue it. I'm gluing it because I want it to be in a straight line.528End161Interview #2: LeighFriday, December 6, 19919-9:45, classroom during prep periodL^LeighI^InterviewerHow are things going?Really well. Part of it is that the kids know the routines. They are very wellestablished in the classroom so in terms of management, I mean, there is verylittle management that I have to do and that makes my life a lot easier and Iget an incredible support in the school.Describe the support you are getting.Well, the same thing that I talked to you last time. We are still doing theproD where we free teachers up to do multi-age planning. We still have thatand so that enables Sue, Jamie and I to do alot of planning together and thenthey are just really supportive. I mean I can just go and ask them anytime forP.How often do the three of you get together?Well for the multi-age planning, I think we've had three sessions so far thisterm where we are freed up for a whole afternoon where we can do thatplanning. Most of the time I get together with Sue informally because sheused to teach grade one and she has alot of good ideas. And I can't get Jamieas often because she is working alot with the [district resource team] and soshe's in and out of her classroom quite abit.L^One sub is paid for. The three of us are released. Bob goes into one class. Themusic teacher goes into one class and then the sub is sent into the third class.This is part of the proD plan of the school. It's wonderful. When I complainabout math manipulatives, I think well, I'm getting freed up for all this extratime. That makes it worth it. It is so valuable to get together with otherpeople. Like we plan, because we are doing this multi-cultural dinner andwe're having one room where we are eating in and one room that will be thestatic display and what we did was to decide on what can, the three of us, do tomake that room a really neat place. Today we are doing a whole multi-agingactivity around native people and it's called the earth's cycle. The kids willget together and work on that and in the afternoon we are doing the theme ofgiving the earth a helping hand. We're making a wreath out of hands ofdifferent colours and the kids will do all these really different activities withtheir buddies. If we didn't have that time to free us up to do that, wewouldn't be as likely to get together because there's so many other things thatyou are doing.055Transcriber Counter000IL008IL014IL027I^Describe the release situation.162How was report cards for you?L It was great. Student led conferences. I wouldn't do anything else. The kidsdo all the work. I don't have to do anything (laughs). Well I talked to themabout portfolios. I've been collecting. They don't understand yet that theycan do this too. So I collected work and then I trained them about the weekbefore the conference and they were wonderful and they brought the parentsthrough and they showed them their work. They showed them theirportfolios and then all the portfolio work went home and we'll just start thecollection up again. The parents are keeping the portfolios. It's better thangetting bits and pieces. I think there's different opinions on that. I talked toSue about conferencing and how to go about doing it and she gave me a filethat she had on it. I just basically read that book, Student Led Conferences byNancy Little, and that has lots of really neat ideas in it. And then Suesuggested videotaping the kids so I videotaped them because I knew that theywould run out of things to show their parents. Some of them would, and sowhen they got stuck or weren't sure what they were supposed to do, theycould go and watched the video. That was such a draw. I had parents here foran hour and fifteen minutes. The video was just on the kids - a day in a lifeof division 16. It was just me following them around, taking pictures. It waspretty funny. The parents could see the different things that we do. I didn'tput everything on there. It was 20 minutes as it was It was pretty long. Butthey could see what the kids do in music, what are they doing for a languagearts activity. And then we had [an environmental group] come and they did awhole integrated forest hands on activity and so I videotaped that. It wasreally neat. It was alot of fun.087I Are your parents supportive of you?L The parents are wonderful. They are fantastic. I only have one parent. It'sthe same parent that I had talked about in the first interview but it's just thatshe's very traditional and what she sort of is coming to terms with is the newprogram and she hates it. She really doesn't like it. She wants to know whywe are not drilling kids on how to spell and all those sorts of things. I'veexplained the program to her and I've given her things on whole language toread but she's not going to change her mind....103L We had a student led conference and then she and I had another two hourteacher conference, which I was kind of worried about but it was fine. Shejust couldn't understand why I didn't say anything negative about her son.She wanted to know whether there was anything wrong or was it hiddenbetween the lines and I said no. It was good but it was alittle bit long. I wasworried about it at first because I didn't know what she wanted, why shewanted to conference. But she basically wanted to know why her son's reportcard was so great. It was good to meet because in the classroom he won't readand his writing - I mean he's experimenting with some invented spellingand simple sentence frames but that's about it. And yet the day after theconferences, he wrote in his journal a whole page with completely correctlyspelled sentences. His mother forced him to do that because she looked at hisjournal and said, "why are you doing this? Why do you have these pictures?Why do you have this spelling that's not spelt right?" Apparently, he does163have a good sight vocabulary and he can write quite well. I just had not seenhim write like that before. So there was a discrepancy in terms of what wason the report card and what she saw at home. And I just explained to herthat I had to report based on what I see and that the next report card,obviously since I've seen it now, will be different.127I For you as a beginning teacher, what does support mean?L Support is just having someone there to go and talk to. I can talk to anyonein this school and feel that I have support here. All the other teachers. Peteris my buddy class and so I can go to him and ask him for ideas. He's got grade4-5. We've done quite a few things together and we're working on trying toput more buddy activities together for January.149How do you know the kids are feeling good about what you're doing?L They love coming to school. They tell me that constantly. Their parents tellme that. I mean, you can tell. The kids are happy being here. They reallylike being here and they say that. They say "I love coming to school." Theirparents wrote on the report card. I felt so good. I was reading the report cardafter and I didn't expect any comments but they are writing things like"thank you for making grade one such an enjoyable year." There's only thisone boy who doesn't like coming and alot of it stems from the fact that he'sgetting so much pressure at home and he's the son of the mom who I'mhaving the conflict with over the invented spelling and the whole PrimaryProgram. And she has an entirely different opinion so he hears alot of that.And then he experiences something different at school and so he says hedoesn't like coming to school because we're not just sitting down and thenworking on stuff. "No, because you have to be able to explain yourknowledge in many ways through art, through language and throughwritten." I sort of said to him "you've been surprising me all along. I didn'tknow that you knew how to write." And I said "I'd be really surprised withwhat you'll be able to do with Gonzo." Gonzo is a bear that goes home withthe kids. He's a little pack sack and there's a book inside him and it's to dowith interactive writing. He was just a pillow that you put pyjamas in and Ijust put straps on it. So he's like a knapsack. I said to him "I can't wait to seewhat you write with Gonzo because now that I know you know how to write.You've been keeping this a secret. Now I can't wait to read it." And he wrotejust oodles. He just wrote in invented spelling and I thought it was reallygood because I had talked to his mom for about 45 minutes and I tried toencourage her and I showed her the research and I've given her articles. AndI thought that was really good so it's probably alot for her to hold back and138I^What's the duration of your day now?L Sue's a good influence on me that way because we are going to aerobicstogether so when she says we're leaving at 4:30, we're leaving. I mean, I justtake my box of stuff with me (laughs). No, the day's still pretty long but it'snot nearly as stressful as it was in September. I mean the stuff that I'm doingis because I want to do it. Like I'm colouring that math stuff because I want tocolour that not because its some drudgery that I have to do this. It's because Ireally like what I do and so I want to put 150% into it.164not correct his spelling.182I^You seem very in touch with the alot of things especially the PrimaryProgram.L Well there's stuff I still have to learn. I mean, sometimes I feel like I'm notdoing half of it.188Tell me about your needs as a beginning teacher.L I need materials. Math manipulatives. We have tons of language artsmaterials in the school. That's fine. It's math materials and sciencematerials. Because science for me is so incredibly important and it is reallyfrustrating to try to run a science program when you don't have anymaterials. Like I don't mind supplying things but it gets to the point whereyou start getting frustrated. It's constantly. You want to do something butthat material isn't there. So do you go and buy it or do you modify it or whatdo you do? Or do they go without? Sue has made alot of stuff so she's beenlending me her stuff. Like when we did measurement, we didn't have anybalance beams. And she had made them out of milk cartons so I borrowedthem but next year I'm going to have to make them. Eventually you'll haveto make those things which is just another thing ontop of everything elsethat you are making. It gets to be a bit much.205So if you got your supplies met, then it'll make your life easier?L Yes, then I don't have to spend all night long making all these things.207What else would you need as a beginning teacher to feel comfortable andsupported?L I think it would be helpful, and I think they've done this before in the school,but again to review the Primary Program with parents. That would probablybe helpful. Not just for me but for all the primary teachers because it justtakes one parent that has some sort of contradiction to what you are doingand that parent talks to someone else and then everybody's up in arms. Theydon't understand and it goes throughout the whole Primary Program andthen they keep thinking. Some of them have the attitude that it's okay,they'll get fixed in the Intermediate Program or they'll get fixed once they getto grade 4. If that Intermediate Program comes in, they are not going to getfixed the way the parents think and so there's going to be alot of flack withthat. I think it'll be alot easier if we get them to accept whole-heartedly thePrimary Program before we start putting them into the IntermediateProgram. I think the administration should be representative of thatcommunication and also the teachers. If we had sort of a forum. And I thinkthey did do that a couple of years ago but I think that it needs to be done againbecause parents just don't understand. I don't mind doing thatcommunication as a teacher but you are repeating the same thing over andover again and you're constantly trying to justify what is it you're doing andsometimes you feel like saying "look...."234L So many parents have the attitude that teachers are running off worksheetsand the kids are just sitting there doing these things and it's not the case at165all. Then I run into the opposite. I run into parents who say "how comeyou're not doing math?" and I say "oh we are doing math. The kids justdon't realize it because it looks like we're playing." Because we're doing somuch hands-on math and there isn't any record of that. It's all what I see.There are records but the records are minimal compared to what we used todo. Before we used to have a big huge math workbook or there was somemath book and you could see all the numbers and you could see that theywere actually doing math. But with the new program, the majority of it ishands-on and there's maybe one or two sheets that say "okay, my childunderstands this concept." And they have a really hard time with that.250L It took me awhile to think of that, because in the beginning I wanted to do itall at once. And I chopped up all the books for the learning logs. They are allready to go but once I started seeing the kids, I thought "oh there's no waythey can do this. They are going to be so overwhelmed", because they are justtrying to get into the routines of what we do and then I think that it's reallyimportant that you gradually introduce things. And it's like a surprise everytime. I've got dictionaries for them in the cupboards. Well that will be asurprise in January. And then the learning logs will be a surprise. There'salways something that has to be exciting for them. If it's all at once, then it'soverwhelming and it loses the thrill. I've learn this the hard way because Ithink I'll just go crazy if I try to do all this. I think that's basically what itcame down to. I thought this is insane. I can't do this. (laughs). Sue andJamie are trying to tell me this. They try to scare me out of here. I'm here at7 O'clock. .. I put the pressure on myself. I want to do everything yesterday. IfI have an idea, I have to do it. For the math cards, I took it home. Myhusband was saying "so you're going to do this math thing, I don'tunderstand why you are colouring them now." I said "I have 24 to make,that's why." So I'm just colouring these things. Theoretically, I don't haveto do that. I am better now. I'm not colouring every single night (laughs).It's much better and just in talking to Sue and Jamie, I get ideas that I hadn'tthought of before and sometimes those ideas don't require quite as muchwork because alot of times I make it harder than it has to be and it's justbecause I want it to be fun. And I'm coming to the realization that everydaydoesn't have to be exhilarating. That you can have matter of fact days. It'shard because you have this overwhelming desire to do that. ...284L My kids are amazing. I told Bob the other day because we are doing thewhole indepth study on spiders and because last year, their kindergartenteacher had worked on spiders which I didn't know. But it was great becausethey had that base understanding and we did something that I thought, I'mnot sure this is going to work, but I'm going to try it. It's probably going tobomb but we'll try it anyways. We did a sort and predict, no a brainstorm andcategorize, and we must have had 80 fact cards up about spiders and the kidswere grouping them. I was physically moving them, but they thought aboutthe groups and we worked on where they should go. And then we did afollowup research, a beginning research report, on four different types ofspiders and it was hard. They must have worked an hour and a half. Butthey were so involved. I was just standing there going "I'm keeping these166kids next year". I told Sue, "well I'm sorry, but I'm teaching grade 2's nextyear. " They're just so amazing. I'm just so impressed. I just was standingthere saying "I love these kids. They're so incredible." I go home and tell myhusband that these kids are so incredible. They really are.304I^Do you have any special needs kids?L Well I have one, but he hasn't been necessarily deemed special needs but heis. I have to modify. He does the same things. We all do the same things.But I have to modify my expectations for him and what he does and reallysupport him because he has alot of difficulty just knowing the letters of thealphabet. He's come a long way. Now he knows he doesn't have a "K" in hisname. That was a start.311I^What about ESL students?L I have two ESL students from Hong Kong. They are doing really well. Part ofit is that they are incredibly bright. That's a big factor. Another factor is thatthe kids in the class are very supportive. I mean, they really look after them.Our class is a family and we talked about that. And you have to help oneanother. The same with the little boy that needs help from the LA teacher.The other kids just help him. He works alot on the computer but just withnumber recognition and the other kids who know their numbers will workwith him and show him how to do one to one correspondence and pointing.And they will do the same thing with the two ESL kids. They're incrediblekids. They really are. I think their last year teacher did a real nice job ofsupporting them and really helping them to work as a team. All of them.They were already a strong group to begin with and that was really nice.That's why I want to keep them.331I^How are you going to use the induction proD money?L I have no idea. Well I haven't really thought about it. We know it's there....264L I am saving it for the primary conference in next October....377I^What kinds of district workshops would you like to see that would benefitbeginning teachers?L You should do something on student-led conferences and some more onmulti-aging. I went to one of the workshops and they talked about diversityin the classroom but they were talking about the philosophy and I wantedpractical, never mind the philosophy. I already have the philosophy. Let'sget some practical ideas here because when it comes down to it. I could endup with a K-1-2 and yes I know that people are doing it and it's working well,so let's hear some of those ideas. And I went to a two day workshop in thesummer on that and that was really beneficial but I think, the more you hearabout it, the better. That's the reality. That's what the school is movingtowards. I'm lucky, I have a straight one [class] this year, pretty well. That'sreally nice for first year just to get use to having that but that's not alwaysgoing to be the case. Diversity is just meeting the variablility in the regularclassroom. I have kids who don't know the alphabet to kids who know howto subtract. How do you address those needs because there has to be that167baseline that everyone has to have and once you establish that and realizethat so and so is beyond that, then you are planning activities for that personand this person. You could theoretically be planning for 24 kids. Cooperativelearning is helping because what I'll do is pair students off.408What is one thing that you would like to have to make your life easier?L I think my needs are being met and they are being met by the teachers in thisschool. Really well. They are wonderful. One of the teachers who comes byevery couple of weeks and pops in and says "oh I really love this room. Ilove what you are doing. It looks like such a warm fun place to be." Theemotional support is great. You can always find the materials if you golooking for it, you'll find it. That's why I think the mentoring program is sogood because you can find the stuff anywhere, like you can go out and buy abook and photocopy it and get your ideas from that, but if don't have thatsupport, it doesn't matter how much materials you have, you are not goingto survive. My two mentors are making this a better experience. Theteachers in this school are very supportive of one another and they arewilling to give you ideas, support, just when they pass by and make acomment about your room. That brightens your whole day. And like I said, Ican get materials anywhere. You can go and spend you money buying stuff,but the people are making the difference.428End168Interview #3: LeighTuesday, March 3, 19927:45-8:30, classroom before school startedL LeighI^Interviewer(transcribed on a hand held counter)029Did the university and practicum prepare you for this job?L I think it did in one respect but I think my experience, also my experience,plays an important part. I worked as a childrens' aid in a mental health clinicand I've had lots of experience working in social services and I think that wasimportant in dealing with parents because we get no training whatsoever indealing with parents. The university communications course teach you howto stand up in front of the room to talk to someone but it doesn't at allprepare you with what you have to deal with. The practicum doesn't prepareyou either in dealing with parents... I went to the parent teacher interviewsand I had to speak to parents but they were nonthreatening and they are notquestioning you because you are only there as an adjunct to the teacher who isresponsible to these parents.048Tell me about the parent communication.L Especially with the Year 2000, even though the program has been going fortwo years, there are many people who don't understand the program, whohate the program. I don't know how many questions on spelling I have hadto answer until I was blue in the face. Even the ministry document onSupporting Learning [was good]. Well only some people have access to thatand you can't change people's ideas by just giving them a piece of paper toread. You have to talk to them continuously and you have to be able to showthem that this works. You have to take things out like theme books and saylook at the amount of thinking this is for a six year old. Never mind thespelling. Just look at the quality of the thinking. The spelling will comealong. If we attack the kids about their spelling now, that thinking wouldn'tbe there.062L Even if you think about it in schools, Sue, Jamie and I got together to planexactly the type of report card we were going to write, what to focus and stepby step how we were going to do these report cards. We are taking the sameCounter000I Today, we need some specific information about you. First of all, how old areyou Leigh? How old are your students? What grade level are you teaching?How many students do you have? Tell me a bit about the makeup of yourclass.L I am 26 years old. My kids are ages 5, 6, 7. I teach a straight grade 1 class andthere are 26 students in my class. I have three ESL students and two otherstudents require learning assistance. Also I have several gifted types.169approach in the classroom like theme books in grade 1, theme books in grade2 and theme books in grade 3 and if the parents see that this is the thinkingwe are expecting from the kids, this is the type of thinking we areencouraging and teaching the kids. It's hard. When we ask the kids "wellwhy do you think such and such happens." I have this one little boy who'sso frustrated who just looked at me and said "I don't know, why don't youjust tell me." He's had it. I was asking him to do something that he is sorarely asked to do. To think. To use his imagination. There is no right orwrong answer here but if they can see that this is what happens in grade oneand it's all this inventive spelling, all this inventive writing with it and it'snot going to change in grade 2. We are not all of a sudden going to say, atleast not in our school, I mean that consistency is all the way through theprimary grades. If they can start to see that, I think they can see the progressthat really is taking place. There's basically the three of us planning theprimary grades. We haven't done as many units together as we would haveliked just because I've had all these things coming up. The other teacher hashad a very difficult class. Next year we plan to do stints of three month unitstogether and it will be with theme books, all that sort of thing, drama. It isconsistent and even though we are not doing the same things, we will betaking the same approach to what we are doing.093I^Will you continue to plan with your friend?L Yes, she asked me what I was going to do for the next three months. Becauseoriginally when I started I said in April, we will do this and in May we will dothis but definitely these one month fast track stint units, I'm not doinganymore. And so I told her I wanted to do reptile and amphibians andoriginally I was going to use the "wind and the willows" as the novel butthere's a really good series of frogs and toads books out that the kids can read.110I^How long has Sue been teaching? What about the other mentor?L Sue for 10 years and Jamie is in her second year. Sue's amazing. She's gonefrom Ginn series from the three reading groups to this. She's just very086I^^Is it because you three are in charge of the Primary Program and that youhave time to plan together?L Well I don't know, I think it's how you look at it. It's your attitude because Ithink anyone can do this. I get together with my girlfriend and we plan. Weplanned this mushroom planting unit. I don't know what she's doing nowbut we jotted down some ideas and we sort of went our own way but I knowshe's using the theme book approach because I told her look it really works. Isaw -it. So she's doing that so I don't think it's just the three people gettingtogether and doing it. I think you just have to have the attitude that youwant to try this and be willing to try it.100I^Wow, did you discover that?L Sue told me. I was going to do the "wind and the willow" but Sue said "ohyou can do that but have you heard about the "Frog and Toad" series and theyare by far an advantage since my kids can read it. My kids can act out the part.We are doing alot of role drama.170willing to try out different things and to take a new perspective. When I toldher about the science boxes, she went crazy because she's had her math stufffor a long time and she really wants it. I strongly think we have to doScience and there's no materials in the school. There's not a way of doing itand I like the ideas of these hands-on boxes where you pull out a box andexplore it and some kids are going to get different things out of that and thepossibilities are innumerable.123How have your perceptions of teaching changed now that you've beenteaching for seven months?L How I have approached teaching has changed. I'm not doing those onemonth quickie units anymore and that is a change in perception because Ioriginally thought that you had to bombard them with all these fun differentpieces of information and you don't do them in any depth because they areonly six after all. And how are they possibly going to understand it in anydepth. Then you move onto this next thing and you are just skirting fromone unit to the next when in actuality, what they can do is incredible. I meanthey listen to this huge this novel, and it was all oral. It was all oral languageand then they had to recall. There was so many different things that we didbased on the information we read. Many chapters - some of the chapters Ihad to precie them so that we could get through the information in 15minutes. That's a long time for little kids to listen and still come away with areally good understanding of what we are doing. Just the way I think aboutkids and what they are capable of doing. I think that this is much richer. Thedepth we have gone into in this study on outer space is just incredible. Theyare not bored. We've been doing this since we got back from Christmas. Theactivity level hasn't changed. The activity has been varied.145I^Have you gone to any district inservice?L (laughs)Valuing diversity but I don't think that was part of the inductionprogram (ESL one)153I^Where have you been getting your proDL From Sue and Jamie and other workshops too... I went to the one on "teacheras learner" on Saturday in February. Two Australian women. That was anexcellent workshop. I just go to workshops that I think will be interesting.I^That's excellent. Your induction money is for you to use. Go to anyworkshops that you want. The district workshops are only offerings.168I^Comment on the format of district workshops.L All the formats are fine. I like moving from the big groups into the smallgroups. Well my only complaint and it's personal. I think the getting-to-know activities is a waste of time. When we went to the workshop put on bythe Australian women, from 8:30 - 4:30, they said "we are not going to haveyou do getting-to- know activities because you can get to know each other onyour own time. We have business to do." It was action packed and you leftthe place with a headache but it was absolutely incredible. Never mind aboutgetting to know your neighbour. You will get to know them simply byworking with them. I mean they threw us in groups and I remember they171said to build a free standing structure with eight pieces of paper and tape... go.And they just threw us together and we worked together. We were in agroup just because of the numbers on our backs. People have to talk to eachother when they are doing the activity together.190What kinds of district topics would you suggest for new teachers?L Tell them about parents who might drive them nuts. Get primary groupstogether so they can share what has been successful. Bring in second yearteachers and keen teachers like Sue who can say "look have you tried this inyour math program?" or those workshops where the Primary Teachers'Association in the district put on workshops. We went to one on "digging fordinosaurs." Those were excellent. They are all primary teachers and it wassomeone sharing a topic and you could go or not go. There's alot ofbeginning and experienced teachers at [these Primary Teachers' Associationworkshops]. I always think about what I can do to share at these workshops.Maybe my Math games but I have to make it last an hour but I think there isalot of wealth and resources out there and you just have to tap into it. I amvery lucky because I get to tap into it at the school but I know other peoplewho don't talk to their mentors because the mentor works half time and istoo busy or the times they get together is so infrequent. For whatever reasonit just doesn't work out or that they are mismatched.210How can we make it a better process? What do you think would help therelationships?L I think that for those who are not working well, they need to know that thereare resources in other schools or other places and you need to do this so thatit doesn't create hostility. If it doesn't work in the school, then they shouldknow that you can call someone at another school who might have someideas. I may be pushy but I would just call up someone. You have to trymatching at the school, by themselves, by principal or by a list of experts...Somewhat like [the district resource team] but these can be classroomteachers. Maybe going through the Primary Teachers' Association. I wouldlike to take on a [university] student teacher and walk them through all thisbut I think that at this time for me, it's not possible.237L I think the most important thing for first year teachers to know is that youcan't kill yourself doing this. I leave at 5:15 at the latest because I go to a 5:30fitness class. ... Typically, I take one day during the weekend to plan the wholeweek, then there's not much more you can do. I think that if you go alongwith these theme books. You do your planning. You outline your themebased on a novel or a series of books you are going to use. Everything justfalls into place.243I Did you hear about these theme books at [the university]?L No I never heard about this at UBC. I talked to Se and Jamie. [Theuniversity] doesn't tell you about this stuff. They tell you the bare bone. Youtake these methods classes and you've only got a couple of weeks. They cramall this stuff into you. I think you can be a successful teacher based on what172they tell you but you are not going to go as far as you could because they don'thave the time to challenge you or they don't have the thinking. Theyhaven't changed their way of thinking.249What's your secret for becoming such a great teacher?L I want to be a great teacher and I don't like to take all this time. I guess I seekout Sue and Jamie to find better ways to manage my time. Because they usetheme books and they are just opened to different suggestions. We go toworkshops and we try out different things. I had a very structured sponsorteacher who was a workbook person and that was it and so it really dependson what you've been exposed to and if that's what you've been exposed to,it's very easy just to do that. It's like a sink or swim type situation. All youare trying to do is get through the first year. If there is somebody out therewho says "oh you could try this", and if you are secure enough in the basicsof your program, then you will be willing to try this. Not everyone would trythis and I'm certainly not encouraging them to because there are people whoare just trying to survive with managing the classroom and everydayorganizational stuff. To me that's the easy stuff.275I  What advice would youl like to give to the school board to improve theinduction program?L To welcome the new teacher into the school, it might be nice to show themaround the school and they didn't have to find things on their own. No oneremembers that. They did that for the substitute teacher, "here's thestaffroom and here's what's on in the school."I Who should do this?L An older teacher who would be willing to do that. There should be awelcoming committee who says "hi, welcome to the staff. Let me take youaround and show you the ins and outs and give you all those things that noone tells you."287I Anything else?L Tell them about parents. This is not done at [the university]. That has to bedone. Public relations is important. I happened to be lucky because I workedfor Childrens' Aid. I worked for the Ministries where you have to go talk tothese parents and your message has to be clear and heard. At this school wehad a workshop on conflict management and it was incredible. We had atrainer for two days. That wasn't enough. We need more. Those kind ofapproaches really start you thinking. One of these days you are going getsomeone who comes into your class and screams at you. Inches from yourface. What are you going to do, cry, run out of the room, yell back? You have260I^How did you manage to do this?L You have to have fair and reasonable discipline. I'm consistent. I have toreview every so often, [for example] if they've come back from holidays andno one knows anything. I may have to do that for two days... But if you don'tdo that anarchy breaks out. It's just common sense. For example when thekids were playing leap frog after the break, I had to spend a day remindingthem that it wasn't appropriate. I had expectations.173to know how to deal with that. [University] doesn't teach you that.299Tell me about the parent.L^This is the one I told you about in September. This parent doesn't agree withthe Year 2000 and the Primary Program. Her child got into a fight withanother child and I talked to the parent and I really didn't think it was a bigdeal. I met the mother with the LA teacher and the parent got out of controland slammed her fist onto the table. Basically they don't like the Year 2000program. They don't think that I am doing enough to further their son'seducation like "why doesn't he get any homework. Why is he being giventhe option to learn?" They think that there shouldn't be a choice and I wastrying to explain it from my point of view. My philosophy that children needto get responsibility for their own learning and it's not that you sit out thereand do nothing. Of course not, you can have options. You can do it now orduring center time. I mean, it really is not an option, but he thinks so. Butthere is some responsibility that the child is expected. I'm not going to hoverover somebody and say "excuse me, you didn't do this one." I don't believein that and I think it's hard for the kid at first if they are not use to that butthat they do develop that responsibility and they carry their learning evenfurther than I could because they know where they want to go. You put theactivities out for them and they explore them and it's there. These parentsdon't understand that philosophy.340L^My principal was supportive and gave me an option to report this to theBoard or not and I chose to report it. I think alot of first year teacherswouldn't do this. You are scared to death. I even said to him, "am I going tobe in trouble? Is there some kind of repercussion?" I mean, the Boarddoesn't know who I am. I'm just Joe teacher. They have no investment inme and for all I know they could be saying that, "here I am another teacherrocking the boat." That kind of stuff you can tell first year teachers. I knew tobring the LA teacher with me. I've had enough problems with this womanand I wasn't going to meet with this woman by myself. This sounds awfulbut they need to know that legally. They need to have someone else there asa witness. Bring this person there so that it's not you against the parent . It'stheir word against your word. Sure your school is going to back you up butyou can't go any further than that but if somebody else sees someone totallyout of control, then they can and say "yeh, I was a witness to this and I sawthis woman screaming and yelling and slamming her fist on the table."Then you can have some support and backup. And they don't teach us that.322I^How are you dealing with this parent?L^I've told her she isn't welcomed in the class. When she is in the class she isnegative to kids and other parents. She makes me nervous. One day shecame in and yelled at me in front of the class. I told her in future she needs tomake an appointment to see me. Then she went out in the hallway to tellother parents about me and that I was tormenting her son. My concern wasthat I wasn't tell parents about her and I want to have a job next year. I don'twant parents to hear those things.361174L I'm sure that alot of first year teachers go through this. Especially when theparents find out that you are fresh out of university, they say "ah ha" andwhen you are going to teach the Year 2000 they say "ha hum." And if theydon't agree with what you are doing or they say "um, a little too strict, shewants the kids to raise their hand." Whatever the reasons and they mayhave valid concerns. In any case, they are going to make a complaint and alotof first year teachers would have said "that's it. I'm out of here", and Icontemplated that. I was thinking that "I don't need this, I could be a garbageperson for this much money." You have to be an extremely strong person togo through this. And the only reason that I got through this is because it tookme a very long time to decide what I wanted to do and I have to change myway of thinking." Okay, this stuff can happen." There's alot of first yearteachers who would have said, "I'm out of here." So how many people doyou know who would put up with someone screaming in their face.Questioning everything that they are doing, and you have to be able to justifywhat you are doing. You are being put on the spot. You have to be able tojustify your philosophy, your approach, your discipline, everything. I don'tmind having to justify it to the administration. My evaluation is nothinglike this.372I^On the bright side, what's been great for your teaching and for you?L Well all these math games. Learn what's inside the discovery boxes. I'mgoing to make some. These theme books. All those sort of things. Justimagining what the kids are going to do. I love to be able to carry these booksaround and say "oh have you seen this lately" and then pull them out^ andwhen I see my principal I say "oh Bob my friend...." I am just amazed at whatkids can do and they really do us a disservice at [the university] by not tellingus to stretch the kids. "You are parenting. You are trying to survive. Justblast them with bears and then move onto something else." This hasabsolutely no relevance. This is the wrong advice.L You have to challenge kids. You have to give them the information. Theyare going to tell you when they can't handle it. My kids are talking aboutmeterorites and outer space exploration. They are asking the expert visitorquestions. You have to give the kids the benefit of the doubt that they arecapable of doing these things, and yes they are five. Yes they are six. Youhave to adjust your expectations. My dual entry kids that can't handle thewriting, they can still do the thinking in their theme books. My ESL kids whodon't have a clue of what we are doing can still do parts of what's going on. Ithink you have to give them the benefit of a doubt. ... No they can do one ofthree theme books during the year. They are amazing They are getting goodreinforcement.393I What about administrators?L I think administrators need to be supportive of teachers and tell teachers theydon't have to put up with this kind of stuff (from irate parents). There areactions you can take. Someone doesn't have the right to come and scream inyour face in your classroom anytime and put you on edge. I told my380I^Your advice is...175401Endadministrator "look I'm tired of going to Safeway and expecting this womanto be lurking in the aisle." I'm not going to put up with that. This might beunrealistic situation in Safeway, but I know I will feel much better if there issome legal action taken saying, "you can't come and scream in the teacher'sface and you can't make all these accusations about her outside the classroom.There's a law behind this. This is illegal. You cannot do this." And parentshave far too much control in terms of what they can and cannot do.176Interview #4: LeighThursday, May 14, 19927:55-8:30 a.m., classroomL^LeighI^InterviewerTranscription Counter000I^Rate your first year experience on a scale of 1(terrible) to 10 (outstanding) andtell me why.L^I'd like to say 10 but I'm going to have to say nine because of that parent. Thegood thing is that I stopped feeling guilty about that because this womanhated me. What have I done for you to start questioning me? Well maybe Iam doing something wrong but you have remove yourself from that and youhave to look at that from a second point of view. I think if I hadn't gone tothe steps to pursue this woman from bothering me, it would have gottenworst and it would have made me miserable. So I stopped and said, "look,this has got to stop." My prime motivation was that I didn't want her to do itagain to Sue or Jamie next year. That was my initial thinking. Otherwise, Imight not have pursued it because I like to avoid these things.021I^What are some exciting things that has happened to you this year?1^Everything. Theme books. All these math materials. I think they areincredible. Actually the math materials. I made all those. Since I got soexcited about those Science discovery boxes. I'm going to make ScienceDiscovery boxes this summer. Science and math have been the most excitingfor me. I hated math and science in school. I absolutely hated it. When I sawon that [university] thing that you had to take Science methods and mathmethods, I thought this is it. I'm going to fail right now. I can't do this. Theprofessors at [the university] made the difference with the hands-onscience...also realizing that it can be done and talking to people with similarideas. And you just go and pull out all this stuff. The kids are very open-minded. They are very supportive. They are willing to try anything. Theirenthusiasm has spurred me on. When we had this mall for math. They arerunning around and buying things and at one point, I was just standing theresaying, "wow, look at this. They are selling things to one another and theyare bartering back and forth." There are kids with no money helping some ofthe kids. Some of the kids were charging GST. They've come up with this ontheir own. When you see that kind of stuff you think, "how can you possibledo the math workbook?" I still use worksheets to check the kidsunderstanding of the concepts but that's done later at a center. It's a quickcheck and I know right then and there who understands and who doesn't.Rather than me saying that okay, you don't know how to add 4+7 andtherefore you are a math failure in grade one. They're doing it. They aremaking it. They created this whole mall. They kept saying "can we shop atother stores in the mall?"057177The Wellington Beginning Teachers' Induction/Mentoring program goal wasto support beginning teachers as they made the transition from the universityto the schools. There were district offerings and school based support throughthe mentor and administrator. If you could sum the program up in onesentence, what would you say?L I think it is a great program. I think the idea of putting mentors in the schoolis fantastic. I can't imagine anything more frightening than going to a school,being a first year teacher there, and no one is there to welcome you or helpyou. The whole program is wonderful. Having those people there. Even forthose people who didn't click perfectly with their mentors, I'm sure they gotsome support. And that's better than nothing. And in my case, my mentorswere fantastic. .... maybe you can send a letter to the administrators to remindthem that beginning teachers should get a tour of the school. It would be agood idea to let them know about accessing supplies. For example I only got15 gluesticks at the beginning of the year and I thought that was my year'ssupply. When I went to Sue to tell her about this she laughed. And you arenaive. You think that everybody is doing the same sort of thing that you are.And they are not. You are the only one going, "you mean I shouldn't bevolunteering to have my prep time on Monday and Friday. Oh, why's that?"You know how many preps I missed. What an interesting coincidence. Bothmy girlfriend and I are first year teachers and we both have Monday andFriday preps. The prep people suggest it you and you say "oh isn't that nice."097I How have you been supported this year?L Through the school mentors. And also the program. Now I only went toabout two sessions but I did learn alot from the ones I went to. Especially theone on report cards. There was one, - I don't know whether that was frommentoring, - it was on valuing diversity.104I Have you gone to very many district offerings besides mentoring?L I've been to alot of sessions this year. We went to a math workshop in Marchand we came away with ideas that were incredible. I haven't incorporatedalot in my classroom but I've tried them in my class. They are not ready forthem right now. Some of the concepts are very difficult. But Jamie and Sueare just soaring with theirs. I'm just thinking with my K-1-2's next year, I'vegot that resource to choose. But just going to these things and finding out isgreat.116Who has made the most difference in supporting you this year?L Sue. She's the experienced teacher. The old hand. Probably because she'shad all this experience and she's so calm and wise. She's been through allthis. She's seen it all and she's seen so many changes. She started with thebasal readers and all of that. So she's been through alot of changes and she'svery much in favour of change. She's whole-heartedly supports that. .... Weare having alot of controversy within our school over multi-aging andcombined classes. Just awful. And it's just nice to know that you don't feellike you are the only one out there. There's at least three other people whohave similar beliefs. And you can keep going with your program knowingthat they are there. It's hard to explain to other people. They walk by and178they say "isn't it nice. They are "playing" all day." You can't see everythingthat's behind it. Like something like this. It looks like a fold-out castle withprinting on it. Well this took four days to do. Never mind the learning thatwent in here. But all the mechanics in trying to make these things.148What would you have liked more support in in your first year?L^I would have to go back to that parent. I got support at the school. That isreally a loaded issue. It really is. Fortunately I had alot of past experience. Ithink I had an better time dealing with it. Although it was still hard for me. Ican't imagine not having a background in dealing with that kind of conflictand being confronted by those kinds of things. And you are confronted daily.People walk in here and say, "oh, why are the kids sitting on the floorplaying?" I had a mom walk in and say, "are you doing anything importanttoday or are you just doing this?" And we are in the middle of theseincredible stories. I made a joke to her and said, "we always do importantthings here." And she was that kind of person who you could joke with. Butthat kind of attitude is out there. And the parents do not understand. Wekeep on trying to pull them into the school. We did a whole thing on multi-aging the other day and we had seven parents come. There were moreteachers than parents. ... In September, forget about doing all those fun thingsthat you did. I'm sorry. Maybe do one of those get to know things. That isimportant but you have to tell them the realities. We think we are going tohave so much fun. You don't think about those parents who are going towalk in here and say, "excuse me. Why aren't you teaching my child how tospell?" And then you give them the patent answer from the PrimaryProgram and hope that they will go away. Well they don't just go away. Theykeep coming and some of them get even more insistent. And tell you thatthe whole program is going down the drain. You really have to beaccountable. It's not enough to know that answer in the Primary Programbinder. I tried it. It doesn't work. You have to bring them in here. You haveto show them but you have to take an incredible risk to invite them in here.Some of them will not be people you want in your class. But first yearteachers have to be told that there are parents out there who are not going tosupport you. They are going to try everything that they can to underminewhat you are doing. You have to be strong. You have to be sure of what youare doing. And you have to have the skills to deal with that conflict. Evensome kind of conflict resolution workshop would have been wonderful.That role play is good. Roleplaying a parent is good. These parents come inand they scream in your face. This mom screamed at me in front of thewhole class, me and her son and this other little boy. And I know all thisstuff and I just stood there letting her scream me. All I could think of was Ihope she leaves.189I^What were some strengths and weaknesses of the program?L^There are alot of strengths. Hooking first year teachers up with other teacherswhether they are second year or third is a definite plus of the program.Having the money there is a nice idea. Maybe you should include somesuggestions as to how to spend it. I don't know if anyone else has had anyproblems spending it. You see, we have those half days to plan with each179other already so I feel that I have this wealth of time. There's even beentimes when I have passed on those half days. The weakness is to ensure thatyou tell the teachers about the parents. And maybe another thing is on reportcards. I found the one I went to be really valuable. We've got to find a way tomake them shorter. Sue, Jamie and I have sat down and came up with awhole plan of writing report cards.215I What kind of support do you see yourself needing next year?L Probably the same kind of support that I am having now. I will continueworking with Jamie and Sue. We will keep working as a team. We will keepsharing our ideas. I will keep that sort of school relationship going. In termsof the district, they should continue to offer the ProD. They really do haveexcellent workshops. I've been to alot of them. In fact, if you have themoney in the school, you can go for that.223What kind of advice would you give beginning teachers next year?L Just relax. Don't worry about things. It doesn't matter. I think you get caughtup. Even in grade one everyone has to read. And you know logically that isnot the case and that everyone develops at their own pace. But you have stoppressuring yourself. I really think that beginning teachers do that. Theythink that they have to be incredible. That they are jumping through hoopsto show that they can do all this stuff. We are capable. The district would nothave hired us if we weren't capable. You have to sit back. Do your best butdon't worry. I was panicking over this little kid didn't know that moosestarted with the letter "m." "Oh no, he needs LA help." And then I actuallysat down and thought about it. I thought "okay, what do you know abouthim? Well he just came into the school. Well go read his report." I foundout that he is dual entry. Here I was going nuts thinking that this grade onekid didn't know that moose started with the letter "m." And he was dualentry. I had no idea what his past background was like. I thought "this is justinsane. This little kid almost went the the LA teacher." The most importantthing is that if your kids are having fun and they enjoy coming to school,then you are doing an excellent job. Because you do. You start thinking"maybe, I'm not doing a good enough job. My God, someone in my classdoesn't know the letter "m." The thing is the kids come along so much. I'veseen so much growth in my class. And first year teachers have to get out ofthe classroom. I mean I use to stay here until 7:30 planning all this and then Iwould cart all this stuff home and at 11:00, I'm still doing stuff. Now thanksto Sue I go to aerobics. Do some exercise. That's some mental health rightthere. And if you have to do something in the evenings, then do it butyou've got to do something else in between there. You can't stay here until7:30 because you just become miserable.251I How do you see yourself as a support person for next year's beginningteacher?L Oh I'd be happy supporting other beginning teachers. I would tell them thefacts. I'll tell them the real truth. I'll tell them what it's really like. I wouldhappily volunteer to be a mentor. Someday I would like to be a sponsorteacher but I need more experience.180264I^^If I were to continue this study next year and based in on second year teachers,would you like to be part of it?L Sure.266I^Any last minute comments? This is our last interview.L Good luck with all your stuff. I hope things work out well.267I^You've been a great success story!L Thanks. I'm glad I was part of your study!269End181


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