Teacher Perceptions of Preparedness to Establish the Learning Environment



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Novice teachers are leaving the classroom within five years. Educator preparation programs are preparing teachers, but improvement is needed to meet the culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms of today. Transitioning from pre-service to in-service teacher can feel insurmountable while establishing the classroom environment, managing student behavior, and preserving well-being. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine novice teachers’ perceptions of their educator preparation program’s effectiveness to prepare them to establish the learning environment. Overall, traditional certified teachers exhibit a higher sense of preparedness than alternative certified teachers due to instructional design incorporating deliberate practice in the field. Certification route influences the pre-service teacher’s preparedness to establish the learning environment. Race and ethnicity does influence preparedness to manage student behavior for both certification routes. In addition, there is a relationship between race and ethnicity and meeting behavioral needs of students with disabilities for the traditional and alternative certified teacher. Qualitive results indicated that the first-year is challenging and filled with harsh realities despite preparation route. Respondents also identified their misunderstanding with establishing a safe and accessible classroom. The most valuable experiences to aid in establishing the learning environment was student teaching, internships, and any time observing and practicing in the field. Teachers of color expressed inequitable practices but were motivated to teach because of special connections with students. Based on the results of this study, policy makers should uniform the student teaching schedule requiring high impact experiences across all four domains in traditional programs and increase the field-based hours for alternative programs. EPPs must alter instructional design to close the gap in understanding of a safe and accessible classroom. District administrators must enact new teacher academies and mentoring across a three-year span. Campus administrators should implement a scaffolded approach to support novice teacher efficacy, practice, and well-being.



teacher perceptions, novice teachers, Teacher preparation, educator preparation, educator preparation programs, learning environment, classroom environment, classroom management