Beginning Primary School Teaching

Year: 1995

Author: Williams, Don

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

As an extension of previous studies of beginning teachers who have graduated from the University of Western Sydney Macarthur in recent years, the present study sought to obtain deeper insights into the experiences of beginning teachers in 1995. Twenty graduates of the Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) program in 1994, who had obtained work, completed the Starting Teaching Questionnaire which had been administered to cohorts of graduates in previous years. They were also visited in schools where they were interviewed and observed as they taught. The researchers participated in classroom activities and invited the teachers to point out things about beginning teaching that became obvious during these activities. Data from the questionnaires, interviews and participant-observations were combined to describe the experience of beginning teaching. While all beginning teachers shared common views about issues that kept them busy and made the first year of teaching demanding, there were marked differences between those who had full-time positions with their own classes and those who were doing casual supply teaching.