From Isolation to Conversation

Supporting New Teachers' Development

By Dwight L. Rogers & Leslie M. Babinski

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, Teacher Preparation and Development
Paperback : 9780791453360, 144 pages, February 2002
Hardcover : 9780791453353, 144 pages, February 2002

Table of contents



1. The First Year of Teaching

2. A Different Kind of Professional Development

3. Description of Our New Teacher Groups

4. New Teacher Groups Participants, Guiding Questions, and Research Methods

5. A Community of Learners

6. Gaining a Better Understanding of Oneself as a Teacher and Preparing for the Future

7. Group Features that Encourage Dialogue and Enhance Problem-Solving

8. A Comprehensive Support Program for Beginning Teachers



Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E

Figure 1


Provides a model to help new teachers adjust to challenges faced as they begin their classroom careers.


A new teacher's first year in the classroom is often filled with terrifying new challenges and great loneliness. From Isolation to Conversation uses an inquiry-oriented form of professional development known as the New Teacher Group to provide teachers with the opportunity to engage in discussions with their peers about problems they experience in their professional lives. Blending school psychology and teacher education, the book adapts a consultee-centered consultation model consisting of real teachers voicing real problems encountered in classrooms. The authors outline the process, step by step, so the model can be applied in many different kinds of school systems. The result is a problems-based discussion group that will play an integral part in supporting and guiding beginning teachers.

Dwight L. Rogers is Associate Professor of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Leslie M. Babinski is Assistant Professor of Education at Bucknell University.


"The section of the book containing the teachers' poignant reflections reveals the degree of isolation new teachers often feel. It serves as a reminder to those who work with new teachers about the trials and triumphs of the first year of teaching. The book provides a model for helping teachers evaluate and work toward solving some of the difficulties they encounter through peer discussion and support. " β€” Childhood Education

"…an essential read for district and site administrators who want to retain and encourage teacher effectiveness and growth. " β€” Middle Ground

"The first-year teacher is, as the authors convincingly demonstrate, cast into the 'fire' without any mentorship from more experienced teachers and without administrative decisions that would make the first year one of more than just survival. The idea of first-year teachers serving, in their groups, as 'experts' to other first-year teachers removes the hierarchy of experience and leads to sharing with serious purpose instead of passive reception with hopelessness. " β€” Margaret Zidon, University of North Dakota