Sarah Turner Margaret Briane


Trainee teachers’ self-awareness and their developing professional identity are of crucial importance as they enter complex school environments in a role which makes intense demands of them, both personally and professionally. To enable a smooth transition into school life, trainee teachers need to be able to critically reflect on their strengths, core values and performance. This study researched the impact of three workshops covering professional identity, teaching values and psychological models during the teacher training year. A mixed methods approach was employed: a questionnaire ascertained feedback on each workshop attended (October; February and May (N=38, 35, 31 respectively) and a final group interview (N=12) followed-up the workshops undertaken. Key findings indicated: the teacher ‘daily diary’ was extremely useful, reassurance of work-life balance beneficial, psychology shared very helpful (e.g. Maslow’s work; Erskine’s relational needs; Rogers’ core conditions). Key factors regularly used by trainee teachers were: using their planner, making time for others and trying to incorporate a work-life balance. The main conclusions reveal the essential requirement of trainee teachers being able to self-reflect, to organise their time and to have the capability to develop strategies to address the challenges they meet during their time in school.