Challenges and encouraging educational practices: Observations from field experiences
This study is an analysis of the reported observations of teacher candidates about the challenges and encouraging practices at schools following their field experiences visits required to meet course work and licensure for teaching. The findings of the study indicate that the participants of the study observed that classroom teachers face the challenges of too much workload, meeting the needs of too many students who need support, lack of resources, classroom management, changes of curriculum and policies, and meeting the needs of diverse students. The candidates, however, are encouraged by their observations of the use and applications of a wide variety of instructional approaches, the prevalence of a culture of a community of learners and co-operations, discipline systems, applications of technology and inspiring teachers’ professionalism and commitment to make differences in the lives of their students. Ways of addressing the observed challenges include measures of providing support staff and assistants to the classroom teacher, supplying classrooms with adequate resources, efforts to involve parents and guardians in the education of their children and in the affairs of schools, refocusing teacher education programs on those reported areas of challenges classroom teachers face, and ongoing in-service trainings and professional development programs for teachers.