Teachers’ Perceptions on the Effectiveness of Professional Development during the Induction Years



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Background: There is a teacher shortage in the United States. It is generally not due to the lack of eager college students who want to become teachers, but because once individuals enter the profession, they leave within the first five years. Ongoing collaborative professional development is required to provide support and feedback. Teacher onboarding aims to improve the performance and retention of novice teachers, with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes. Purpose: The purpose of this study and the guiding question was to determine new teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of professional development support during the induction year? This study contributes to the literature to help decision-makers decide what professional development opportunities are most beneficial for novice teachers. Participants engaged in the district's New Teacher Onboarding (NTO) process. This three-year program provides novice teachers with ongoing feedback and continuous professional development in social-emotional well-being, culturally responsive pedagogy, race and bias, classroom management, and content-specific opportunities. Methods: This qualitative case study used social networking and purposeful sampling to select three teachers who had three to five years of teaching experience in an urban school district and participated in the new teacher onboarding process. The researcher developed and conducted interviews based on the Whole Teacher Approach, a multidimensional approach focusing on teachers' attitudes, skills, and practices. The researcher analyzed the data to reveal themes, patterns, and biases. The data sets were evaluated and compared by the primary researcher to determine convergence, complementarity, or divergent patterns, ideas, or themes. Findings: After completing data analysis, the researcher determined the participants' perception of professional development. However, the perceptions of the professional development opportunities of each participant varied, but they all felt that in order for professional development to be beneficial, it must be relevant. During the interviews, the participants did not mention any professional development attended outside of their scope of work, except for technology integration. Participants felt that professional development about technology integration was essential due to the COVID pandemic and not necessarily due to the desire to grow in that area. The three themes that emerged from this research are 1) The importance of professional development, 2) Professional development must be relevant, and 3) Ineffective professional development is a barrier to student success. Conclusion: Teachers perceive professional development as an essential part of their career development only if relevant, provide strategies and supports for their student's success, and is tied to their area of expertise.



professional development, novice teacher, induction, new teacher, whole teacher approach, teacher retention, teacher attrition, teacher preparation programs, transformational leadership, teacher