An Analysis of Teachers’ Fears for the First Day of School


  • Kelly Marrs Butler Texas A&M University Commerce
  • Victoria Zascavage Xavier University
  • Tracy Henley Texas A&M University Commerce
  • Jennifer L. Schroeder Texas A&M University Commerce


This qualitative study focused on fears about the first day of school as expressed by three groups of educators:  inexperienced teachers enrolled in an alternative certification program, paraprofessionals with classroom experience, and junior/senior education majors anticipating field experince.  participant groups answered the open-ended question, "What is your biggest fear for the first day of school?  Three dominant thematic categories emerged.  The first and most frequent category, perception-of-self, described fears related to academic competency, personal self-control, and peer-student acceptance.  Unique to this category was the fear of inappropriate or violent behavior.  The second category, Perception-of-World, spoke to issues of classroom control and responsibillity.  The third category, Fear-for-the Student, addressed emotional and physical safety of the student.  This study provides vaious insights useful for teacher candidate preparation.