This is a report of the first year of a study that is following a group of 57 “promising” primary and secondary teachers from their third to their seventh years of teaching, in order to understand more about their experiences in the early years of their careers.
Our sample comprises 20 males and 37 females; two thirds had worked in other occupations before becoming teachers.
Teacher educators, and principals or heads of departments in schools, identified the teachers as “having promise and likely to make a significant contribution to teaching and to children’s and young persons’ learning”, and as “the sorts of people they hope will remain in teaching”.
The focus is on “teachers of promise” because of international evidence suggesting that such teachers are more likely to leave teaching for other careers.
The data are from the teachers themselves:
- their personal beliefs and values
- what they think about their careers
- their day-to-day work in classrooms and their schools
- the place of teaching in their lives.
This report, based on two interviews with each teacher and a survey in 2005, provides information about:
- why this group of teachers chose teaching
- the support they have had since embarking on their teaching journeys
- how well they think they are developing as teachers
- the kinds of opportunities that have assisted their early career learning.