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Stages of professional formation and development of a teacher-psychologist

The teacher-psychologist needs to know his individual characteristics and how they appear at a certain stage of professional development. This knowledge is needed in order to assess what strengths a person should rely on in a given period of time, what qualities need to be developed, what needs to be done to avoid overloads, including nervous ones, in work.

The process of professional development of representatives of various professions, including the teacher-psychologist, is a special field of study in pedagogy and psychology, which is associated with the great theoretical and, most important, practical significance of this issue. Dutch researcher J.H. Wonk identified the following phases of the teacher’s professional development:

• pre-professional phase (the period of initial studies at a university or college);

• preliminary phase (first year of work);

• phase of entering the profession (second to fifth year of work);

• the first professional phase (usually continues until the teacher reaches the age of 40);

• the phase of reorientation in the profession (midlife crisis and subsequent years);

• inertia phase (usually begins three years before retirement).

At the preprofessional phase, the young teacher receives theoretical knowledge and partially acquires work experience (during training practices). For normal professional development, equally important are general cultural knowledge (philosophy, natural sciences, cultural studies, etc.), general theoretical knowledge in the field of psychology and pedagogy, methodological knowledge and skills. Only in this case, the student will be formed as a comprehensively developed and professionally competent specialist.

As experience shows, teachers and psychologists experience the greatest difficulties in working in the search for their "I" in the second and third phases. In the preliminary phase, a personal style of work is developed, a system of actions, which will then be replenished in the process of professional development. The second phase is very important both for beginning teachers and for the school, as it helps to avoid unnecessary conflicts and unsatisfactory work in the future. A successful start affects the teacher’s ability and desire to work.

There are ten main problem areas that young educators face:

• content of the taught subject;

• discipline in the classroom;

• motivation of students (their individual orientation);

• assessment of student performance;

• work with parents;

• work with the class;

• work with gifted children;

• work with lagging behind;

• development of a teacher as an individual in the process of work;

• adaptation in the school environment.

Let us dwell on some of these difficulties.

1. The content of the taught subject.

Having started working, young teachers-psychologists very soon realize that they cannot immediately adapt their academic knowledge to the school level. Studies show that a very large amount of time during the first two years of work is spent on reorienting to the school level. This process is facilitated if the specialist has deep knowledge of his subject, has a broad broad outlook, seeks to find an individual approach to each student, uses game situations, experiences, modern teaching methods.

2. Work with the class and maintaining discipline in the classroom. A teacher-psychologist, like any teacher, conducts classes in different classes.

Studies show that many novice teachers do not know how to work with the class, that is, they can’t organize the lesson so that each student fulfills his assignment and is not able to maintain the working environment in the classroom. Young teachers have problems with discipline during class. Teachers, in addition, do not know what to do with those who interfere with them and try to disrupt the lesson. Work with the class is perhaps the most difficult part of the learning process, since in this situation the teacher finds himself face to face with twenty or more students and must find an occupation for each in accordance with their individual characteristics. This activity should be in strict agreement with the curriculum and result in the assimilation of material.

The following skills are required to complete this task:

• work in several directions: in the lesson, the teacher is engaged in teaching, testing, helps, oversees the discipline, etc .;

• carry out several actions at the same time;

• quickly respond to the actions and words of students (in particular, discipline violators);

• improvise - a lot in the lesson happens unexpectedly, and the teacher must immediately make any circumstances work in favor of the learning process;

• work for the public - the actions of a novice teacher are always discussed in the teaching and student circles;

• know and take advantage of class features and traditions.

Work with gifted and lagging children.

These two difficulties can be combined, since they are related to the problem of individualization of education. Young educational psychologists must choose specific teaching methods for each student. It often happens that in the first months of work, beginners do not see each child individually. The situation in which a novice finds himself can be called difficult to control. For those beginners who work in several classes at the same time, it is even more difficult to remain calm and adequately respond to events in the class. Nevertheless, the allocation of groups of students depending on academic performance and the individualization of work with them (for example, through individual written and homework) will help the young teacher to quickly gain authority among students, increase their interest and independence in learning.

4. The development of the teacher-psychologist as a person in the process of work and its adaptation in the school environment.

Often, young professionals perceive themselves as teachers with distrust and even fear, since many of them are on the path to maturity and for them the teaching profession is associated with its achievement. They have to learn to perceive themselves in a new role not as a student or student, but as a teacher, and, therefore, learn to develop the professional and personal qualities necessary for this role.

Young teacher-psychologist expect:

• new responsibilities (from the very first day he bears the same responsibility as experienced specialists);

• a specific school environment (special customs and unwritten laws that are not explained to a beginner);

• expectations assigned by the school administration and colleagues (sometimes beginners themselves do not know exactly what is expected of them);

• combination of the role of teacher and student (being a teacher, he must simultaneously enter the role of student and listen to the advice of more experienced colleagues).

Very often, beginners are shocked by a collision with reality. Facilitating entry into the profession can be your own active position as a teacher-psychologist. The sooner he makes contact and finds a common language with other teachers, takes an active part in the school’s affairs, the faster he will form a wide range of his professional activities, use it creatively and have a more positive attitude towards his activities. At first, special programs for working with young teachers existing in the school and the system of school traditions (professional school holidays, such as “Young teacher”, “Start of the school year”, “End of the year”, etc.) can help.

There are three ways to adapt a young teacher-psychologist:

1. Simple and unquestioning adoption of a system of traditions and rules.

2. Purposeful study and the subsequent adoption of the school lifestyle in order to immediately show colleagues and students their ability to adapt to circumstances, without changing their views on the learning process.

3. Strong rejection of the system of rules (this strategy is possible only with a sufficiently high level of independence of the teacher-psychologist and the tolerance of others).

By what signs can it be determined that the novice teacher has begun a steady process of accumulating pedagogical mastery and that the process of primary adaptation is completed?

These signs are:

1. The feeling that the teacher is accepted by his students as a teacher.

2. A sense of the right choice of profession.

3. Understanding your subject and the ability to present it at a level understandable to children.

4. Development of a special approach to each class.

5. The ability to give correct and timely self-esteem.

In general, this is expressed in the feeling of being part of a large and complex family, understanding and accepting its traditions and culture.

The formation of a steady interest in work and your style occurs in the first professional phase. It is teachers-psychologists of 25-40 years of age, as a rule, who are the most active and professionally minded. The transition to the phase of reorientation in the profession is usually associated with the so-called “midlife crisis”. At this age, there is a desire and need to share their experience with young people (the desire to “learn life” so unloved by adolescents), maternal notes in communication, great independence from circumstances and the opinions of other people. If a teacher or psychologist did not stop in his development, he opens a “second wind” in work, a surge of creativity. If professional development has been stopped, the teacher, as it were, “freezes”, begins to use knowledge and methods of work, not correlating them with the changing situation, turns into a demagogue. In the last phase, a person does not work, but “completes”, which is manifested even in his speech. He is not able to acquire fundamentally new knowledge, but on the other hand, he performs the usual work painstakingly and fully.
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