In 2001, Public Education Network (PEN) received a grant from MetLife Foundation to support research into the perspectives of new teachers on the quality of the teacher preparation they receive, on their experiences during their first years of teaching, and on the supports provided to them by their districts and their schools during those critical early years in the profession.
The research was conducted in four communities -- Chattanooga, TN; New York, NY; Seattle, WA; and Washington, DC -- and throughout the state of West Virginia. More than 200 teachers participated in the project either by completing surveys, being personally interviewed, or participating in focus groups that explored their perceptions of the teaching experience.
This report is based on information gathered over a six-month period and on the lessons learned at five sites participating in PEN's teacher quality initiative. We hope district administrators, school principals, institutions of higher education, and policymakers will use this information to create programs and policies that will give new teachers the supports they need to succeed in this vital profession.