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ERIC Number: EJ910691
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-1354-0602
"I'm Being Measured as an NQT, That Isn't Who I Am": An Exploration of the Experiences of Career Changer Primary Teachers in Their First Year of Teaching
Newman, Elizabeth
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, v16 n4 p461-475 Aug 2010
Individuals moving from job to job are argued as a feature of reflexive modernity. This trend is reflected in the increasing number and diversity of "career changers" or "second career teachers" recruited to teaching. Having recruited teachers, retaining them in the profession is recognised as a considerable challenge. In terms of retention, the induction year and the role of the NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) mentor are increasingly seen as significant in meeting this challenge.The research focus on the experience of career changers in teaching has largely been on those moving into the secondary phase. This paper contributes to the literature by exploring the experiences of three primary school NQT career changers from a PGCE primary programme at a university in England. It adds to the considerable literature on how NQTs generally come to identify with and through the culture of the school. The experiences of the participants' first year of teaching in their respective primary schools are explored through a constructive grounded theory methodology. It recounts their reality in line with the view that if human beings define situations as real they are real in their consequences. The data are argued as local and detailed rather than representing a universal truth, a partial reality which can be drawn upon to illuminate the bigger picture for primary career changers. Analysis, which was initially inductive draws on notions from Lave and Wenger's and Wenger's work on communities of practice "legitimate peripheral participation" and "leverage" and their significance for job satisfaction in the NQT year. The research found that "being managed" emerged as the key concern for the NQTs. In addition, their positioning in relation to their previous work experience was significant in achieving job satisfaction. Those who saw themselves as experienced newcomers and wished their previous work experience to be acknowledged found that it was variably capitalised upon in primary teaching. There is also a suggestion here that being "different" in this paper--male or gay teachers was problematic. The findings have implications for teacher trainers and NQT mentors in that it offers a perspective on the range of experiences career changer NQTs bring with them to teaching. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)