Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership EdD

First Advisor

William H. Green

Second Advisor

Warren E. Minder

Third Advisor

Paul S. Brantley

Abstract

Problem. A qualitative design was employed in this study to: (1) investigate the experiences and perceptions of two first-year elementary teachers within the Seventh-day Adventist educational system, (2) gain a better understanding of new teachers’ socialization and acculturation during their first year of teaching, and (3) use beginning teacher concerns gleaned from this study and previous studies to identify the kinds of support that need to be offered in a new teacher induction program within the Adventist educational system.

Method. I studied two first-year teachers, employed full-time at the elementary level by Scenic Vista Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Qualitative data were obtained over a 9-month period through ethnographic interviews, participant observations, teacher weekly journals, and principal/teacher self-evaluations. The majority of the data was procured from taped interviews with the two teachers, their mentors, principals, and the associate superintendent of education. Additional data came from the hours of participant observations in classroom instruction, field trips, school chapels and assemblies, recesses, lunches, etc. All of these data-gathering procedures were formatted in corrected and expanded field notes. A smaller portion of the data was gleaned from principal/teacher documents and the mentor seminar materials.

Results. Responding to the transition from pre-service training to in-service teaching, both teachers’ initial enthusiasm changed to frustration, anger, doubt, and fear. As they endeavored to adjust to the socialization and culture of teaching, each teacher struggled with classroom scheduling and management, school routines and administration procedures, discipline, coping with the withdrawal of a student from her class, and establishing positive relationships with principals, colleagues, and parents. They dealt differently with time management and curriculum issues. Although both teachers internalized the challenges they encountered, each reacted differently to the frustrations they experienced.

Conclusions. Findings indicate that beginning teacher induction and orientation are needed throughout the year to help novice teachers adjust, but that kind of support is more crucial at the very beginning of the school year. The beginning teachers desire and expect this support from their principal. They also believe a mentor is beneficial to their professional growth and development and for their personal job satisfaction.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventist teachers--In-service training, Elementary school teachers--In-service training, First year teachers--In-service training.

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