Experiences of novice art teachers in high schools
The teaching profession is unique in this sense that in no other employment industry, are beginner employees straight out of university expected to do the work and hold the responsibilities equal to that of a senior or more experienced colleague. This idea is held as one of the main reasons why teachers need support in their first few years of teaching (Darling-Hammond, 2010; Le Maistre & Paré, 2010). From my own experience as well as that of the novice art teacher participants in this research, it was clear that art teachers in their first three years of teaching experience positive encounters as well as several challenges. Challenges varied from the lack of support and orientation from school management to several other factors that contributed to a demanding workload and stress. The theoretical framework that informs this research is grounded in the combination of theoretical perspectives developed by Geert Kelchtermans (1993; 1994; 1999) namely the narrative-biographical perspective and the micro-political perspective. Participants were interviewed and requested to attend a focus group session where they were asked to create a River of Life representation of their experiences since starting their art education careers. The transcripts were analysed in conjunction with the drawings to forge connections between the participants’ feedback to establish themes. The themes of this particular research relate mainly to the common experiences that the participants face as novice art teachers and the support they receive from their school management and education authorities.