Idealism versus Realism: Expectations and Challenges of Beginning Teachers in Three Districts of Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe

Kudzayiishe Mudzingwa, Snodia Magudu


This study explored beginning teachers’ expectations and the challenges that they encounter during the first year of entry into the profession. The 24 participants for the study were drawn from a population of 90 new teachers who had just completed a 4 year undergraduate pre-service teacher training programme at a local university. Data was collected using a questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics. The study established that, on joining the teaching profession, participants had some basic expectations relating to such aspects as the types of schools they would be deployed to, remuneration, availability of requisite resources and infrastructure, professional support and the nature of students they would teach. However, these expectations turned out to be at variance with the realities within school settings and the novices experienced many challenges in their new roles as teachers. The study recommends that interventions be put in place to socialise new teachers into the new settings and enable them to settle down smoothly and perform effectively in the classroom.

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