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Lessons From Beginning Teachers: Challenges for School Leaders

Teaching can be an exhilarating and exciting career despite, or perhaps because of, a never-ending round of challenges, difficulties and problems to solve. Beginning teachers face new challenges every day. This book points the way for school leaders to help them meet these challenges and encourage them to stay in teaching. New Zealand is no better at keeping new teachers than school systems in the United States, Australia or the United Kingdom. An alarming 37 percent of our new teachers leave teaching within the first three years. This happens although New Zealand has the best funding for teacher induction anywhere in the world.

In Lessons From Beginning Teachers we hear the voices of new teachers as they recount both helpful and unhelpful experiences and bring to life research-informed suggestions for strengthening induction and mentoring programmes within schools.  This is not a whinging book but it does throw out challenges to school leaders to examine their practice. The real-life examples and self-audit questions provide a framework for discussion and improvement. And there’s a free-to-copy chapter full of valuable tips for prospective and beginning teachers.

Podcast: Marie Cameron talks about the research work with a group of beginning teachers that helped to inform the book.:
Marie Cameron on Lessons From Beginning Teachers

Marie Cameron is a registered New Zealand teacher who has taught in both primary and secondary schools as well as preservice teacher education. She has also worked as an educational psychologist alongside teachers and parents. In recent years she has had the privilege of talking with many New Zealand teachers as part of several research projects with the New Zealand Council for Educational Research which helped her see how conditions in schools impact on how well teachers, especially new teachers, are able to do their work. This interest led to the research with beginning teachers on which this book is based.

This text is highly accessible, with lots of case studies of teachers, classrooms and schools, but it is grounded in a carefully designed longitudinal study and benefits from the awareness of other relevant international research.

This is a book to read, mark, learn, inwardly digest—and then act upon!

Andrew Pollard
Institute of Education, University of London

With Foreword by John Hattie, The University of Auckland

Digital editions

This title is available in e-book and kindle editions from 


Induction and mentoring made easy [ 85KB PDF ]
PPTA News, February 2010, Vol. 31, No. 1. Reproduced with permission.

Review of Lessons from Beginning Teachers: Challenges for School Leaders [ 150 KB PDF ]
Education Aotearoa, Summer 2009/2010. Reproduced with permission.