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Phases of First-Year Teaching

First‐year teaching is a difficult challenge. Equally challenging is figuring out ways to support and assist beginning teachers as they enter the profession. Starting in 1988, the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project (eventually shifting to become the New Teacher Center) worked to support the efforts of new teachers.

After supporting nearly 1,500 new teachers, they noted a number of developmental phases. While not every new teacher goes through this exact sequence, these phases are very useful in helping everyone involved—administrators, other support personnel, and teacher education faculty—in the process of supporting new teachers. These teachers move through several phases—from anticipation, to survival, to disillusionment, to rejuvenation, to reflection, then back to anticipation. Here’s a look at the stages through which new teachers move during that crucial first year. New teacher quotations are taken from journal entries and end‐of‐year program evaluations.

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