Imagining a profession: A beginning teacher's story of isolation
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Policy documents informing the profession of teaching in Australia and elsewhere explicitly recommend nurturing those new to the profession working collaboratively with colleagues. Key to the development and growth of beginning teachers is the informal exchange of ideas and knowledge between colleagues - essentially through the functioning of a community of practice. In practice there are beginning teachers who do not experience productive professional collaborations. In this article we use positioning theory and discourse analysis as a methodological "hearing aid" to listen to the story of a beginning teacher, a global English speaker, as she tells of her personal experiences of being excluded by her colleagues as she begins teaching at her first school. Speakers of global English are defined, for this research, as those for whom English is not their first language but may be one of many spoken languages. This story reflects similar accounts gathered during a larger research study conducted by the authors that focused on the early career experiences of global English speaking teachers. We conclude with suggestions for ways forward through awareness and practical reforms.
Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators