As university supervisors we were alerted to heightened emotional responses (i.e., crying, not eating, not sleeping), expressed by paid-interns in an accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) cohort of STEM practitioners. While research has shown teachers prepared in alternative programs tend to have greater difficulties (Darling-Hammond, 1990), few studies have examined alternatively prepared teachers’ beliefs and expectations about teaching and learning (Tigchlaar, Brouwer, & Vermut, 2010; Good et al., 2006). This inquiry describes one paid-intern’s teaching expectations during her first year of teaching. In this phenomenological case study, part of a larger cross-case study, we collected data from interviews, observation notes and university supervisor evaluations in an effort to answer: (1) What are the expectations about teaching of a student in an accelerated M.A.T. program who is also a first-year teacher completing a paid internship and (2) In what ways did she address those expectations? We utilized self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987) that provides an understanding of how expectations can produce negative effects, such as anxiety or depression. Discoveries suggest the intern held idealistic expectations about teaching, influenced by her personality, prior experiences, and the accelerated M.A.T. program, which she could not reconcile with her experiences as a teacher.


Alternative Teaching Programs, First-Year Teachers, Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Self-Discrepancy Theory

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