The study aimed to identify
the main hardships and challenges encountered by teaching interns and the ways
in which they cope with these difficulties, as they emerged from personal
diaries that the interns kept in the first year of teaching. Findings from the
diaries identified the following main categories of hardship on entering the
profession: 1) difficulties in the
personal dimension, including difficulties involved in navigating between private and professional
lives; 2) difficulties in the
personal-professional dimension relating to the transition from the status of
student to the status of internship; 3) difficulties in the inter-personal dimension
including communication with colleagues and parents and a sense of isolation; 4) difficulties in
the professional dimension including coping with the complexity of teaching,
handling a class and
burdensome workloads. The findings also relate to coping strategies employed by
the interns to cope with these difficulties. Early pre-service teaching
including exposure to the difficulties involved in teaching may facilitate initial work
experiences, lessen the shock of the first plunge into the classroom and reduce
the phenomenon of early dropout from the profession.
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