Identifying the problems and needs of beginner teachers in senior secondary schools in the Western Cape townships
The research study identifies the problems and needs of beginner teachers in senior secondary schools in the Western Cape townships. It identifies the kind of support that was received immediately before and after starting teaching, and also, identifies the problems experienced during the early years of teaching The research investigates whether beginner teachers manage to control learners in the classroom. It identifies the problems experienced in the actual teaching and lesson preparation. The research study investigates the kind of knowledge that beginner teachers have in relation to the subjects they teach. It further identifiers the problems experienced in teaching socially disadvantaged learners. Since second language is used as a medium of instruction, the research study identifies the problems experienced in using the language. The research study identifies the kind of support that beginner teachers feel would be ideal in addressing their problems. Method used: The research uses quantitative methods. Self-completion questionnaires were distributed by the researcher to a sample of 68 beginner teachers. Data gathered was analysed using a designed Quattro-Pro statistical package. Findings: Beginner teachers in the Western Cape township schools do not receive any kind of orientation before starting teaching. There is lack of a culture of support to beginner teachers from management teams and colleagues. Beginner teachers experience problems related to the actual teaching and the control of learners while teaching. They also seem to lack sufficient knowledge of the subjects they teach. Beginner teachers experience major problems in teaching learners from socially disadvantaged populations and using second language as a teaching medium. These beginner teachers expressed a strong desire for support services. It is recommended that beginner teachers receive orientation and in-service programmes during their early years of teaching.