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ERIC Number: ED498667
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 34
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
They're Not Little Kids Anymore: The Special Challenges of New Teachers in High Schools and Middle Schools. Lessons Learned: New Teachers Talk about Their Jobs, Challenges and Long-Range Plans. Issue No. 1
Rochkind, Jonathan; Ott, Amber; Immerwahr, John; Doble, John; Johnson, Jean
Public Agenda
This issue of "Lessons Learned" carries the heading "They're Not Little Kids Anymore: The Special Challenge of New Teachers in High Schools and Middle Schools." It goes without saying that almost all parents love their children dearly, but nearly 9 in 10 admit "kids become a lot more challenging when they hit the teen years." So in a way, it shouldn't be surprising that first-year teachers who enter the nation's high schools and middle schools would have different experiences and concerns from those who come into elementary schools. The differences emerge strongly in a new survey of first-year teachers across the country. This random sample survey of 641 public school teachers during their first year in the classroom was conducted in spring 2007 to ask a variety of questions, including: (1) Motivation for entering the teaching profession; (2) Subject areas covered during training; (3) Experiences as student teachers; (4) Relationships with cooperating teachers; (5) Experiences as beginning teachers; (6) Degree of support and counsel from colleagues; (7) Degree of support from administration; (8) Future expectations; and (9) Thoughts on improving teacher quality. Complete question wording and full responses for findings are included. According to reported findings, new high school and middle school teachers are: (1) Less likely than elementary school teachers to say that teaching is exactly what they want to be doing; (2) More likely to report frustrations with student motivation; (3) More likely to be concerned about lack of administrative support in schools; (4) Less likely to believe that good teachers can lead all students to learn; and (5) Less likely to say they regard teaching as a long-term career choice. These findings suggest that there are significant challenges in teaching motivating adolescents that are not being adequately addressed in the current system, and that the broad policy debate on how to respond to teacher turnover and retention may need to focus more of its attention on the special concerns of secondary school teachers. (Contains 23 figures and 11 footnotes.) [This report was produced by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality and Public Agenda. Questionnaire design and analysis were completed in cooperation with REL Midwest.]
Public Agenda. 6 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-686-6610; Fax: 212-889-3461; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A