Self Efficacy

EDU 6655: Human Development & Principles of Learning–Blog  for Week 6

This week, while reading, Characteristics
and experiences that contribute to novice elementary teachers’ success and
efficacy
by Fry, I found that I could readily relate to the positive
experiences of the women in the study—in terms of my own “induction” into the
teaching world, thirty years ago. The basis of the study was to analyze the
experiences of four women in their beginning years as teachers.

Fry states, “The four themes of successful classroom
communities, a student-centered approach, overcoming obstacles, and lifelong
learners value effective teacher education provide answers to the research
question: What makes novice teachers feel successful and want to remain in the
profession?” (p. 107). The factor within the article that stood out most
prominently to me was that of pre-service education. Two of the four women,
Shari and Becca reported that they believed that their solid pre-service
education played a major role in building their confidence as beginning
teachers.

My personal experience as a pre-service teacher involved
a full year of internship. In fact, the particular district in which I
student-taught, (and teach currently)had established a specific and unusual
agreement with Seattle Pacific which, at the time, extended the time teaching in
the public school classroom by seven weeks beyond the regular college school
year. My internship began at the beginning of September—before our student’s
arrived (vs. 3rd week of Sept), required 2 extra weeks in December
(vs. the month break), and I was required to even come back to finish out the
school year— following my early June graduation from SPU. In addition to the
SPU coursework, the district’s special education director and staff provided
additional and extensive training to support my colleagues and I and to
“indoctrinate” us into the policies and procedures of its very strong and
widely respected special education program.

At the end of the year, was fortunate to have the
opportunity to apply for and obtain, my first teaching position—beginning in
the fall of 1981.

I credit my decision to remain as a special education
teacher in the same district for all these years, to my extremely dedicated
special education director who had established the program at onset of special
education services being supported by law in 1975. He provided tremendous
support to both pre-service and in-service teachers throughout his tenure of 26
years. Also at that time, each special education teacher was evaluated by
building level administration, as well as by our special education
director—sort of a “double duty” or “double dipping”—depending on your
perspective. I shared the same experience as was noted in the article, “The
combination of being supported, feeling successful, and having specific improvement
goals appeared to increase Shari’s teacher efficacy”.

Even within that year of student teaching, I encountered
great personal obstacles—including the death of my father, just before
Christmas in 1980. Thankfully, I experienced support through a cohesive network
of both building and district staff members. As expressed within Fry’s article,
regarding the woman whose husband was deployed, this is not always the case in
every district. To this day, I feel blessed to be a special education teacher
who is now entering my 4th decade as a teacher, for at the time I
began my career—the average number of years a teacher remained in the field,
was three years.

References

Fry, S. (2009). Characteristics and experiences that
contribute to novice elementary teachers’ success and efficacy. Teacher
Education Quarterly, 36(2), 95-110.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: