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Perceived Problems Of Beginning Teachers

Simon Veenman

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Perceived problems of beginning teachers in their first years of teaching are reviewed. Studies from different countries are included. Issues such as the reality shock and changes in behaviours and attitudes are considered also. The eight problems perceived most often are classroom discipline, motivating students, dealing with individual differences, assessing students’ work, relationships with parents, organization of class work, insufficient and/or inadequate teaching materials and supplies, and dealing with problems of individual students. There is a great correspondence between the problems of elementary and secondary beginning teachers. Issues such as person-specific and situation-specific differences, views of the principals, problems of experienced teachers, and job satisfaction of beginning teachers are discussed also. Three frameworks of teacher development are presented which provide conceptualizations of individual differences among beginning teachers. Finally, forms of planned support for beginning teachers are noted. Research using an interactionistic model for the explanation of behaviour is needed.