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Empowering apprentice teachers: tracking instructional practices with MyiLOGS

Description

Growing popularity of alternatively certifying teachers has created challenges for teacher preparation programs. Many non-traditional routes into classroom include no full-time mentor teacher. Absence of a mentor teacher in the

Growing popularity of alternatively certifying teachers has created challenges for teacher preparation programs. Many non-traditional routes into classroom include no full-time mentor teacher. Absence of a mentor teacher in the classroom leaves teachers with a deficit. This study follows ten teachers on the intern certificate enrolled in both an alternative certification teacher preparation program and the Teach for America organization as they pursue a master's degree in education and state teaching certification from a large southwestern university. The five randomly chosen for the treatment group and the control group contained 1 male and 4 female teachers, some of whom teach at public schools and others at charter schools. All were secondary education language arts teachers ranging in age from 22- 29. The treatment used in this study is a job-embedded, professional development, software tool designed to help teachers track their classroom practices called MyiLOGS. The purpose of this action research project was to study the effect using MyiLOGS had on six of the nine areas evaluated by a modified version of the Teacher Advancement Program evaluation rubric, alignment with Opportunity To Learn constructs, and the tool's influence on the efficacy of these first year teachers. The data generated from this study indicate that the MyiLOGS tool did have a positive effect on the teachers' TAP evaluation performances. Also, the MyiLOGS tool had a large impact on the teachers' instruction as measured by the constructs of Opportunity to Learn and their teaching self-efficacy. Implications suggested the tool was an asset to these teachers because they tracked their data, became more reflective, and self-sufficient.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Supporting first year alternatively certified urban and rural intern teachers through a multicomponent distance induction program

Description

The pathway for entering the K-12 classroom as a teacher varies compared to what was once the traditional model of teacher preparation. In this mixed-methods action research study, I explore

The pathway for entering the K-12 classroom as a teacher varies compared to what was once the traditional model of teacher preparation. In this mixed-methods action research study, I explore supporting first year alternatively certified urban and rural intern teachers through a multicomponent distance induction program. The induction model in this study was based on the theoretical framework of Bandura's social learning theory and Wenger's communities of practice. The purpose of this study was to identify the extent in which a multicomponent distance learning induction program impacts first year intern teachers' sense of self-efficacy, understand their successes, their challenges, and to identify how intern teacher evaluations change. Quantitative data included results from a self-efficacy survey and the Student Teaching Assessment Instrument (STAI). Qualitative data was collected through intern teachers' blogs, cadre leader video narratives, and cadre leader STAI narrative responses. Six themes emerged including topics such as building relationships with other education professionals, receiving feedback from the cadre leader, identifying struggles and application of college coursework into the K-12 classroom. Key findings reveal interns are least efficacious in student engagement, relationships with other educators support an intern teacher emotionally and pedagogically, intern teachers struggle with work-life balance, and cadre leaders observed intern teachers as having improved their skills in student engagement, instructional practices, and classroom management. Implications to practice include a structured approach to introducing student engagement, creating a best practices library of video examples, and a pre-orientation (Super Saturday) of topics prior to stepping into the classroom with students.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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New teachers and wellbeing

Description

New teachers quit the profession at high levels, particularly in rural and urban schools. These high rates of turnover create staffing issues, particularly in high-needs areas like math and special

New teachers quit the profession at high levels, particularly in rural and urban schools. These high rates of turnover create staffing issues, particularly in high-needs areas like math and special education. High levels of stress and dissatisfaction with the profession have been cited as common reasons teachers exit the profession within the first few years. However, positive interventions from the field of positive psychology as well as mindfulness have been used in the workplace and have been found to support increasing wellbeing as well as reducing stress. This study defines workplace wellbeing as a construct of positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning/purpose, achievement and health within the workplace. In this mixed methods quasi-experimental study, 26 new teachers within a large suburban schools were sorted into experimental (n=13) and a control (n=13) groups. The experimental group was provided with a mindfulness training (in-person or virtually) as well as was asked to journal twice a week about three things that went well during the week, why those things went well, and what impact that had on students. The experimental group was invited to share their journals with their Teacher Induction and Support Program (TISP) coach in-person during their weekly confidential meetings. The control group was asked to write down any three things that occurred over the week (positive, negative, or neutral) and was also invited to share this with their TISP coach. Participants completed journals for the months of November, December, and January. All participants took a workplace wellbeing survey (developed by Peggy Kern and used with permission of Dr. Kern) at October, December, March and June. Additionally, five participants from the control group and five participants from the control group were interviewed about their experiences as new teachers and their experiences using the interventions. Participants in the control group experienced decreases in their workplace wellbeing throughout the year whereas participants in the control group experiences steady or increases to their workplace wellbeing, particularly in the areas of positive emotions, relationships, meaning, and self-efficacy. Participants in the experimental group also reported mindfulness practices increased their confidence and promoted positive emotional regulation that supported a positive classroom, despite challenging student behaviors. While this study uses a small sample size, these findings were confirmed in qualitative data, quantitative data, and are consistent with findings in related literature. While the findings are consistent with findings in related studies utilizing positive interventions and mindfulness within the workplace, these findings run counter to studies on the emotional experiences of teachers which assert that teacher’s (particularly new teachers) experience high levels of negative emotions and stress, particularly during the middle of the year. The findings from this dissertation suggest positive interventions and mindfulness may bolster new teacher’s workplace wellbeing and self-efficacy during the first year.

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Date Created
  • 2018