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The call to teach: The change to a teaching career

Diane Braungard-Galayda, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study explored reasons why nontraditional teachers left their first chosen career and either entered into teaching through the traditional certification or an alternative route certification. Descriptions were given of what motivated their career changes into teaching, their routes to certification, the initial induction and early teaching experiences, their satisfaction with teaching, and career plans for the future.^ A case study was performed using open-ended questions that elicited rich qualitative data from eight nontraditional teachers. Each individual entered the profession by the alternate route of certification in the Edison Township School District, located in the central area of New Jersey during the academic years of 2003-2005. The teachers all taught in a high school environment and their subject matter ranged from history, English, math, Spanish, special education and theater arts.^ The results reported were organized around six main themes in the study. After examining the interviews, a variety of key issues were exposed and defined as the major themes for the study. The first theme was the motivation to teach as beginning teachers in New Jersey and the reasons why teachers changed careers. The second theme discussed the many early teaching experiences that were expressed by the teachers. The third theme addressed the adequacy of teacher preparation and the job satisfaction found in the classroom. The fourth theme discussed how adequately the teachers were trained for the diverse population of students found in most school districts. The fifth theme looked at what motivated nontraditional teachers to stay in their new field of choice. Lastly, the sixth theme addressed the future career goals of respondents in this study.^

Subject Area

Education, Teacher Training|Psychology, Industrial|Education, Continuing

Recommended Citation

Braungard-Galayda, Diane, "The call to teach: The change to a teaching career" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3379236.