Publisher: Edukacja Elementarna w Teorii i Praktyce
Journal: Elementary Education in Theory and Practice
Subjects: Education, the image of the teacher; the role of the teacher; expectations towards the teacher; the teaching profession, pedagogika, początkujący nauczyciele; nauczyciele edukacji przedszkolnej; stawanie się nauczycielem; rozwój zawodowy nauczyciela
Learning how to perform the professional role of the teacher is a longlasting and complex process conditioned by various – sometimes divergent – perspectives, perceptions of the profession, convictions and social practices. The specificity of teachers’ work is based on the simultaneous fulfilment of two roles: that of teaching of others and that of conducting their own learning. How to harmonize these roles is a dilemma that can be seen particularly clearly at the beginning of the teacher’s professional career. Teachers at the start of their careers, especially, have many problems and areas of concern as they seek to adapt to a new work environment. The text presented here pertains to the problems involved in fulfilling their professional role encountered by novice teachers at pre-school level. The aim of the considerations explored here is to reflect on the complexity of the conditions influencing the teacher during the period of their becoming acquainted with and learning their profession. I intend to examine the raison d’etre for the doubts which can be felt by teachers of small children as they plan and decide upon their professional actions and approaches – taking for granted the assumption that they themselves are responsible for these in pedagogical and in personal contexts. I begin by discussing the essence of the professional development of the teacher. I use the category of “becoming” as a lens through which to view the teacher’s professional role. It turns out that when examining the structure of the role in which a novice teacher functions, the characteristics of the process of “becoming” elaborated here can be recognized (variability, transformation, a sense of freedom). In the final part of the text, I try to show the dilemmas faced by the novice pre-school teacher, in order to define those areas of professional activity that may prove to be a source of concern for teachers.
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