Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Education, MA


School of Educational Studies

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Rights Information

@ 2019 Kimberly J Goodwin


This paper details the journey of a first-year teacher. It is a highly reflective exploration of their inner landscape – one that documents the development of the teaching self in relation to students and society at large. Separated into four distinct sections, this work serves as an account of personal motivation to teach, getting to know students beyond the classroom walls, immersion in the community to situate educational work, and a comprehensive reflection upon teaching effectiveness and the evolution of the educating self. Development as a professional educator as stated in Teacher Performance Expectation (TPE) 6 demands continual introspection and proactive adjustments to our practice. The first year of teaching – a stage of initial and potentially immense growth – is especially critical as it sets the tone for the next and many years after. This ethnography interweaves objective analysis and studies internal and external factors and how they influence one another, and honest perceptions, struggles, and realizations as an individual embarks on the journey to becoming a teacher. By documenting my personal experience and performing higher-level analysis, we unveil the varied intricacies, competing demands, and trying moments that constitute the teaching experience. As the year (and, consequently, the ethnography) unfolds, one thing remains clear – teaching is a work of the heart.