Perceived Needs and Support of Beginning Elementary Teachers
Book, Kathleen J.
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The problem: The study determined concerns that beginning elementary teachers, who have graduated from a small private liberal arts college, have experienced. It also identified the means of support those beginning teachers had available to them in their first year of teaching. Procedures: A survey was distributed to thirty-nine beginning elementary to determine low, moderate, or high levels of need in twenty areas that centered on communication skills, teaching behaviors, and expectations. Teachers provided additional information on the open-ended section of the survey. Two focus groups of six participants each were formed from the twenty-seven beginning teachers teaching in Iowa schools. Findings: The needs of beginning teachers are most evident at the beginning of the school year and are consistent with the developmental stages of beginning teachers. Assistance from support systems affects the ease of transition of a beginning teacher into the profession. Needs for assistance identified in this study included classroom discipline, communication with parents, and special needs of students. Conclusions: Beginning teachers receive varying means of support to meet their needs in the first year of teaching. Consistency is needed in programs offered across the state to ensure all beginning teachers receive the support needed. Support programs that include college and university teacher education personnel and educators from school systems will make it possible to meet the developmental needs of beginning teachers.
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