Novice teachers and how they cope
Teachers often describe their first teaching job following graduation as a shocking experience. This description raises several questions: Do novice teachers actually have a lower level of coping than experienced teachers? Are there factors in the work environment that make coping difficult for all teachers at a school? This paper compares the ability of novice and experienced teachers to cope with their work, and how this ability is affected by the level of collegial and superior support and collaboration offered. Although we find few differences between novice and experienced teachers’ coping level, these two groups of teachers do differ in terms of the levels of collegial and superior support and collaboration. In addition to receiving a lower level of professional support from their superiors, novice teachers generally lack ways to articulate their own needs to colleagues. The ability of novice teachers to cope with their work should be considered a collective responsibility in schools rather than the fate of the individual teacher. This paper is based on observations, interviews and survey data from Norwegian schools.
Raaen, Finn Daniel