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Support, or lack thereof, is often cited as the main reason for teachers to leave the profession early on (Ingersoll, 2003). Feiman-Nemser (2001) identifies five Central Tasks associated with Learning to Teach (CTLT) that could focus the support novice teachers need during their induction years: learning the teaching context (TC), designing responsive instructional program (IP), creating a classroom learning community (CC), enacting a beginning repertoire (BR) and developing their professional identity (PI). The purpose of the study is to examine the CTLT that novice physical education teachers use in their first and second years of their teaching career. Twenty-one physical education teachers accepted the study parameters to be observed and interviewed during their first year of teaching, and 15 teachers continued the data collection into their second year. Interviews revealed that these teachers focused mainly on BR and TC. Little focus was given to IP, CC, and PI. Results indicate the need for effective mentoring and continuous support through their induction years on BR and TC, but also expand novice teachers’ focus to address the additional categories.
Banville is with the School of Recreation, Health and Tourism, George Mason University, Manassas, VA.