Revisiting and rewriting early career encounters: Reconstructing one 'Identity Defining' moment

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 2011, 36 (3)
Issue Date:
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There has been much research conducted into the effects of early career experiences on future practice. The research indicates that early career academics are particularly susceptible to burnout, as they are still developing their professional knowledge base, and are therefore more reliant on their theoretical knowledge or idealism to interpret practice. They may also be more self-critical and may begin identifying with their negative self-perceptions. The current article describes the importance of re-storying the negative perceptions of one's early career practices; it asserts how hidden stories can encourage beliefs of incompetency that continue to disempower teacher practice. To illustrate, it introduces a narrative of an experienced practitioner, who re-stories a particularly negative early career encounter to construct a more positive self-identity. This narrative seeks to demonstrate how teachers can become vibrant and self-empowered professionals by mentoring the vulnerable selfhoods that exist within their negative tellings.
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