Three Years into the Teaching Profession: Exploring Trajectories of Professional Roads

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The first years of teaching are the most critical years within the profession. The imprints of the initial experiences are quite powerful in determining future development and its direction. The notion of ‘survival period’ is quite accurate as characteristic of these years that usually are described in terms of passive adaptation to the overwhelming systemic demands.

The present study seeks to widen our understanding of the mechanisms that dominate the first years of teaching as perceived by the teachers themselves. The study was done in the context of an innovative teacher education program that focuses on the complexity of teaching as existential everyday ways of being in schools with children. In 2007, Six years down the road, we started a study of our graduates in the field. Through a narrative analysis of personal and professional stories, we wanted to reconstruct and better understand how they perceived of their professional identity, within the context of their personal life and practice.

During the last year we interviewed fourteen graduates. The narrative analysis of their stories elicited themes that suggest possible framework for understanding different coping styles as trajectories of professional roads. These were related to modes of professional knowledge and learning; relationships with kids; professional sense of self; tensions; styles of managing difficulties and sources of strength. We would like to present and discuss the meaning of these preliminary findings of our analysis with the audience, and share our thoughts as to the next widthwise, categorical analysis of the study.


Keywords: Survival Period, Professional Identity, Narrative Analysis, Professional Trajectories
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Judith Barak

Senior Lecturer, Teacher Education, Kaye College of Education
Beer Sheva, Israel

Judith is a head of teacher education program. She used to be a highschool teacher for 18 years, and in the last 12 years she works as an academic counselor of a school. Her longitude involvement in school and in college is productive in creating collaborative partnerships between institutions. Judith’s research stems from her own praxis and aims at a deeper understanding of learning environments and their interrelations to professional development processes.

Dr. Ariela Gidron

Senior Lecturer, Teacher Education, Kaye College of Education
Beer Sheva, Israel

Ariela is a narrative researcher. Her field of interest is the study of life stories. She is also deeply involved in questions of cultural identity and their influence on learning and professional development processes. Ariela worked also as school teacher for many years and she was a pricncipal of an experimental 'open school'. Ariela is member of the editing team at the publication house of Mofet institute.

Adiba Arafat

Lecturer, Teacher Education, Kaye College  of Education
Beer Sheva, Israel

Adiba's field of interest relates to the introduction of change processes within Arab schools. Adiba is an experienced educators in learning methods, especially methods that enhance learning for students with special needs. She teaches in-service and pre-service courses and is also involved in writing learning materials and teachers' guides.

Talia Weinberger

Teacher, Teacher Education, Kaye College of Education
Beer Sheva, Israel

Talia's field of involvement and interest is pre-school education. Besides being teacher education and inservice training, she serves also as an inspector of pre-school education in the Negev area. Talia is very active in the public domain of promoting laws to coordinate and protect the life of pre-school kids.

Ref: L09P0374