Exploring Options: From Preparation to Placements
by Judy Randi - 2017
This article describes and compares the preparation experiences of the 25 exemplar elementary, secondary English, and math teachers entering teaching through college-based (CB) programs or the New Jersey Teacher Education Project, one of the nation’s first alternative routes (AR) to certification. The article then follows these teachers into their first experience “on the other side of the desk.” For CB candidates, their initial foray into teaching occurred in a classroom “borrowed” from a mentor teacher, who worked side by side with the novice. For AR candidates immediately assigned to a classroom of their own, the initial placement extended throughout the school year, and mentors were at times difficult to find. The article continues to follow these novice teachers through their first six years and presents data on those who remained in their initial placement setting and those who chose to leave teaching or move on to a new school. The article highlights the challenges novice teachers face when teachers’ preparation and expectations are mismatched with school culture and work assignments.
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