Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


First year teachers;


In this qualitative study, I examined how four teachers negotiated their first year of teaching. All four teachers graduated from the same teacher preparation program, and secured general elementary positions in the same school district where they conducted some or all of their clinical coursework. I explored the factors that shaped the practice of these first-year teachers.

Annie, a 23-year-old, single, female marathon runner, with a vision to work with children in an inner-city setting, secured a position as a first grade teacher at a school where 85% of the children lived in poverty. Rachel, 24 years old, newly-married, and expecting her first baby, had substitute-taught for one year before securing her job as a second grade teacher in another downtown school. Ben, a 23-year-old single male, envisioned since childhood to become a teacher in order to be a positive role model for children. His first job was in fifth grade at a rural school. Connie, a middle-aged mother of five, had home-schooled her three oldest children. She accepted a long-term substitute position in a school close to her home where her youngest son was to start kindergarten.

From the summer before until the summer after their first year of teaching, I collected data through semi-structured and unstructured interviews, classroom observations followed by stimulated recall sessions, focus groups, and blog entries. I discovered that although in many ways our teacher education program prepared the participants to teach well, they experienced some common challenges and surprises that they negotiated in unique ways. The intersection of their teacher identities, teacher visions, and personal and professional contexts determined how they negotiated their first year of teaching. Implications for teacher education and teacher induction are discussed.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Lynn E. Nielsen, Committee Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xv, 428 pages)



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