Novice Teachers’ Well-Being at Work

Satu Uusiautti, Sanna Harjula, Tiina Pennanen, Kaarina Määttä

Abstract


Aim: Teachers’ first year at work after graduating is known to be challenging as the new teachers are developing their professionalism and finding their personal teaching styles. The purpose of this study was to analyze teachers’ well-being at work during their first work year; which factors strengthen and reduce their well-being. In addition, teachers’ perceptions of the connection between teacher education and well-being at work were studied. Method: This was a qualitative study and the data were obtained with the method of empathy-based stories (MES). Two frame stories were utilized for data collection. The research participants consisted of teachers (N = 14) who had worked from 1 to 4 years as classroom teachers. The data were analyzed with the content analysis methods. Results: Based on the results, the colleagues’ support and work community impacted the teachers’ well-being. Other important factors strengthening well-being were co-operation with parents and the size and features of the classroom. Successful teaching experiences also strengthened well-being. Well-being was weakened by difficulties in group management and school practices as well as the teachers’ fatigue. Pedagogical skills and abilities to develop one’s work provided by teacher education were seen to strengthen well-being. Conclusion: The findings suggest that despite the teaching task, more preparation is needed to teachers’ other tasks too. Furthermore, teachers need support to build a more realistic work role and professional identity. Measures to support transition to work should be developed.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2014.v4n3p177


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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