Trading Spaces, Two Journeys: Reflections on Career Transitions

By Brent D. Bradford, Amanda D. Stanec and Clive Hickson.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A comparison study found both similarities and differences regarding personal reflections of two educators undertaking career changes. One educator moved from being an elementary school physical educationalist to being a physical education teacher educator at a university setting, while the other educator undertook the opposite path, swapping the university gymnasium with that of an elementary school. Such experiences lead to important considerations of what are general commonalities for educators and what are some of the unique challenges that are presented in the new environments. This paper considers these personal reflections surrounding the two transitions. Both educators relied on personal teaching and school climate experiences. Three themes emerged from the data gathered through participant notes and reflective journals: (1) teacher-student relationships, (2) teaching and learning considerations, and (3) staff relationships. The journey the two educators have taken has led them into new educational territory. However, both of them relied on their past teaching and school climate experiences. These experiences helped them to begin their new roles and to begin to successfully negotiate new areas along the way. If you are a true teacher, you are a teacher, no matter what school level!

Keywords: Teacher Reflections, Transitions, Physical Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp.17-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 827.454KB).

Dr. Brent D. Bradford

Doctoral Student and Teacher Educator, Department of Elementary Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Brent D. Bradford has taught at both the Elementary and Junior High school levels. After a decade of being a school physical educator, he returned to the University of Alberta to pursue graduate work. After gaining a Master of Education Degree, he has begun his pursuit of a Doctor of Philosophy Degree. While doing so, Brent teaches curriculum methods courses as a Teacher Educator. In 2011, he was recognized as an award-winning Teacher Educator. He has developed an array of research posters, papers, and presentations for local, national, and international conferences. His research interests lie in elementary school physical education. His work focuses on teacher preparation, teaching practices, class size and student achievement trends, transitional challenges, and the symbolism of clothing.

Dr. Amanda D. Stanec

St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Dr. Amanda Stanec has been a physical educator at the elementary, middle school, and university levels. She has taught elementary and middle school in Virginia and was an assistant professor of physical education at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Amanda has written numerous K-12 public school PE curricula and helped other universities in their development of physical education teacher education programs as a consultant. Currently, Amanda is working as a full-time mom and does part-time work as an on-line instructor in physical education and as a physical education consultant.

Dr. Clive Hickson

Associate Professor, Department of Elementary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Dr. Clive Hickson has taught and studied in both England and Canada. He has taught at all levels of school education, been a school principal, served on numerous education committees and worked on provincial curriculum resource development. He is currently an associate professor and an associate dean at the University of Alberta.

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