Playing it Safe as a Novice Teacher: Implications for Programs for New Teachers
Format of Original
Journal of Teacher Education
Prompted by the continuing attrition rate of novice teachers, this study examines 1st-year teachers’ needs in the context of a university-regional partnership sponsored support program for novice teachers, the Novice Teacher Support Project (NTSP). Using the concept of reality shock as occurring in the interaction of person and environment, the authors examined novice teachers’ expressed needs and how those needs are met. Throughout all the findings, the novice teachers expressed a need for safety, a mix of support and challenge that was best provided by a combination of both internal resources from the district and external resources such as the NTSP. The authors suggest conceptualizing support as an interactive process that includes person, school context, support context, and personal relationships. This can help support the creation of the type of emotionally and professionally safe environments new teachers need to develop their professional lives.