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Career change teachers in hard-to-staff schools: should I stay or leave?

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-26, 04:36 authored by Babak DadvandBabak Dadvand, J van Driel, C Speldewinde, M Dawborn-Gundlach
Recruiting career changers into teaching has emerged as a part of a strategy by governments worldwide to address complex teacher shortage problems in hard-to-staff schools. In this paper, we present a case study of two career change teachers and trace their career journey into Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and the teaching profession in two separate hard-to-staff schools. We interviewed these teachers during the first 2 years of their career change journey. During this period, ‘push-and-pull’ factors impacted their intentions to stay in the profession. Challenges included inadequate school-level mentorship support, social-geographic isolation in a regional school setting during the COVID-19 remote learning and the more complex working conditions in hard-to-staff schools. The adverse impacts of these challenges were, to some extent, mitigated by the participants’ commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of children and young people through the teaching profession, a strong work ethic and support provided by their ITE programme in the form of university-based mentors and adjustment to study requirements. The participants responded to these push-and-pull factors in ways that highlighted their reflexive decision-making and determination to stay in teaching despite challenges. We discuss the implications of these findings for workforce planning strategies aimed at recruiting career change teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

Funding

The funding for this project was provided by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education as part of the Research Development Award for Team-Based research.

History

Publication Date

2024-04-01

Journal

Australian Educational Researcher

Volume

51

Issue

2

Pagination

16p. (p. 481-496)

Publisher

Springer

ISSN

0311-6999

Rights Statement

© 2024. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.