On My Own: Surviving and Striving As First-Year Teachers




Padua, J. F M., Fujii, R. R H., & Taniguchi, J. M.


Many teacher candidates perceive that the first year of teaching will be similar to their field practicum (Zeichner, 1980). Then as beginning teachers, they soon realize their dependence on a mentor teacher for having a presence in the classroom and sharing organization and management responsibilities is no longer available. When challenges become unbearable, many leave the profession within five years (Carver-Thomas & Darling-Hammond, 2017; Gray & Taie, 2015; Ingersoll 2012). As teacher educators, our praxis aligns with Hall & Simeral’s (2015) belief that, “Expertise does not come naturally. Developing a skill takes time effort, energy and a hefty dose of selfreflection” (p. 15). During our four semester program, teacher candidates learn reflective practices or the ability to consciously think about their practices, and actively engage in ways to grow professionally (Borich, 2015; Samaras & Freese, 2006). Our purpose is to address the need for understanding if any learned reflective practices are transferred during the first year of teaching (Bean & Stevens, 2002; Fry, 2007; Gourneau, 2014). Therefore, the following questions guided this case study: (1) To what extent did first-year teachers use reflective practices learned during a teacher preparation program? (2) What factors affected their ability and decisions to use reflective practice? Our methods included examining artifacts and conducting interviews and focus groups. Preliminary findings suggest all participants exercised reflective practices. Their effectiveness varied depending on their (1) school environment;(2)successes or struggles; and (3) prior experience at the same school in which they were hired.


Padua, J. F. M., Fujii, R. R. H., & Taniguchi, J. M. (2019). On My Own: Surviving and Striving As First-Year Teachers. Presented at ACEID Conference, Tokyo, Japan.