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

Kelly Marrs Butler, Victoria Zascavage, Tracy Henley, Jennifer L. Schroeder


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.

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