Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership and Policies

Sub-Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Lynn Harrill

Abstract

To capture multiple perspectives regarding the first-year experiences of alternatively certified teachers, a series of in-depth, qualitative interviews was conducted with five teachers from South Carolina's Program of Alternative Certification for Educators. Data provided insight into alternatively certified teachers' perceptions of the challenges encountered and the support they received during their induction year. Challenges reported in this study are similar to those found in the literature on self-efficacy and induction year support of alternatively certified teachers as participants reported challenges in the following categories: planning of instruction, content knowledge, quantifying subjective assessments, managing the volume of assessments, managing the learning environment, and motivating students. Participants also reflected on the emotional challenges of isolation and frustration. Participants shared that in the area of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, mentors and fellow teachers who taught the same content and/or grade level were most effective in providing support and assistance. Contexts for the support were both informal and formal, occurring through collaboration with fellow teachers on an as-needed basis, and in regularly scheduled meetings with mentors and content-area teachers. Support for teachers in the areas of managing the learning environment and motivating students was afforded by administrators, instructional coaches, mentors, and fellow teachers. In regard to context, teachers also reported that support was largely unstructured and occurred primarily through informal conversations. Finally, the limited support teachers reported receiving in dealing with emotional challenges was afforded only through informal conversations with fellow teachers.

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