Document Type: Original Article
Brock University, Canada
The field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) is similar to other fields in that we must not take it for granted that novice teachers will survive their first year without some kind of support. This paper outlines how three novice ESL teachers in Canada survived their first year without any support from the school they were placed. Specifically, the paper outlines how they, with the aid of a facilitator, engaged in reflective practice by using a framework for reflecting on practice to help them navigate complex issues and challenges they faced during their first year of teaching. Had they not engaged in such structured reflection during their first year, they would have probably become another statistic of those who quit the profession and contribute to the growing perception that TESOL is a profession that eats its young. The paper suggests that language teacher educators and novice teachers should not just wait until their first year to learn the skills of reflective practice but should do so much earlier in their teacher education programs so that they can be better prepared for the transition from their teacher education programs to the first year of teaching.