The New Lives of Teachers
Routledge – 2010 – 224 pages
The New Lives of Teachers examines the varied, often demanding commitments on teachers’ lives today as they attempt to pursue careers in primary and secondary education. Building upon Huberman’s classic study, it probes not only teachers’ everyday lives, but also the ways in which they negotiate the pitfalls of professional development and the different life and work ‘scenarios’ that challenge their sense of identity, well-being and effectiveness.
The authors provide a new evidence-based framework to investigate and understand teachers’ lives. Using a range of contemporary examples of teaching, they demonstrate that it is the relative success with which teachers manage various personal, work and external policy challenges that is a key factor in the satisfaction, commitment, well-being and effectiveness of teachers in different contexts and at different times in their work and lives. The positive and negative influences upon career and professional development and the influences of school leadership, culture, colleagues and conditions are also shown to be profound and relate directly to teacher retention and the work-life balance agenda. The implications of these insights for teaching quality and teacher retention are discussed.
This book will be of special interest to teachers, teachers’ associations, policy makers, school leaders, and teacher educators, and should also be of interest to students on postgraduate courses.
‘A compelling read that makes you appreciate teachers, but equally will spur teachers on to increase the impact they have on their colleagues and on the children they serve. Interesting to read, deeply meaningful-Day and and Gu have written a book for all educators, young and old.’ – Professor Michael Fullan, University of Toronto, Canada
'This is one of the best books ever written about the working lives of teachers. It draws not only on the science in the field but also on the real life experiences of the teachers themselves--on their joys of teaching, on the stresses and strains of their job and the impact on theses on their working and personal lives. This is a must read for all interested in education.’ – Professor Cary L. Cooper, Lancaster University, UK
'This book is a wakeup call for governments and how they support the teaching profession. Day and Gu provide us with compelling evidence of how the changing social, economic and political conditions are having a significant impact on teachers’ lives.’ – Judyth Sachs, Macquarrie University, Australia
‘New Lives of Teachers foregrounds an old truth much neglected by contemporary educational reformers: Teachers' passion and commitment are foundational to high quality teaching. Day and Gu persuasively show how and why the emotional and professional contexts critically affect teachers' capacity and willingness to teach their best.’ – Milbrey McLaughlin, Stanford University, US
@contents: Introduction Part 1: The Contexts of Teaching 1. The New Teaching Environments 2/ The Person in the Professional: Learning, Identity and Emotional Wellbeing Part 2: The Professional Lives of Teachers 3. Critical Influences 4. Schools Matter: Portraits of Beginning Teachers 5. Managing Tensions and Transitions in the Middle Years of Teaching: Teachers at the Crossroads 6. Veteran Teachers: Sustaining Commitment, Exercising Resilience Part 3: Conditions for Success 7. Teacher Commitment: A Necessary Condition for Success? 8. Leadership Effects 9. Resilience Counts 10. Teachers Who Make A Difference: New Lives, Old Truths
Chris Day is Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK.
Qing Gu is Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK.