Investigating Our Practices (IOP)

Novice teachers and diverse learners Whalen, Catherine


[Conference Program Abstract] Failure to educate all students has long-term implications for student attainment of educational,social,economic and cultural aspects of education. Current education literature reveals a gap between what is expected in the school system and how teachers are trained to meet diverse student learner needs. Hence, the decision to investigate the following for my doctoral dissertation: What is the experience of novice teachers who teach secondary school students with diverse learning needs? Pertinent and relevant information exposed in the research findings permitted the following themes to emerge: The Calling; Hiring Process; Pre-service Teacher Preparation; Defining Novice Teacher Roles and Responsibilities; Mentorship and Continued Professional Development; and One-Size-Fits-All Model Does Not Fit Diverse Learner Needs. Several questions that surfaced from the participants‘ detail regarding the impact that inadequate preservice preparation played on their daily roles and responsibilities as: Who am I and what do I teach; How do I teach; Who helps me teach; and How effective is my teaching style? In conclusion, the research study provided a deeper understanding of each participant‘s experiences. The information revealed a somewhat contentious, isolated, and frustrating role while experiencing satisfaction in taking a stance for what and whom they believe in: success for Ultimately, each participant expressed the desire to have their stories presented with the hope that their experiences can be beneficial at all facets of the education system while discovering what novice teachers experience in a day and how they can be assisted.

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