Dr. Kimberly A. Garrett

Kimberly A. GarrettDr. Kimberly A. Garrett

Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education

School of Education,

Dominican University, River Forest, IL

Dr. Garrett is an Assistant Professor of early childhood education and Program Coordinator of  the Alternative Licensure Program at Dominican University. Prior to her work at Dominican, Dr. Garrett was a teacher for 16 years in the Chicago Public Schools, teaching grades preK through second. Dr. Garrett has also served as an Education Manager for Salvation Army Child Care, providing professional development for Headstart teachers and paraprofessionals. Her research interests center around the professional development needs of teachers in an urban setting, particularly first year teachers. Dr. Garrett has experienced measurable success teaching struggling learners throughout her career in urban education. Her passion is to inspire her current education students to empower learners to be resilient through active engagement; and as professionals to be the change they want to see in their profession -regardless of the setting. She is currently researching the use of peer modeling, guided reflection and self-evaluation as tools at various stages in a teacher’s professional development. This work is based on looking at professional development as a psychosocial process, acknowledging that professional development needs change through the course of a career due to both internal and external conflicts.




This paper provides an overview of what happens internally with teachers in the early stages of their professional development, particularly in the first two years of teaching. Through qualitative feedback, a description of the internal and external conflicts new teachers face in the first two years of teaching will emerge. These conflicts will be analyzed through the lens of psychosocial identity development and identity development theories. Psychosocial identity theories posit that identity development is the result of different states and experiences that individuals encounter throughout their life (Evans, Fomey, Guido, Patton, & Renn, 2010). Identity theories declare that identity development is the process where individuals make sense of their cultural environment in order to strengthen their self-confidence and achieve self-realization (Kim, 2012). The classroom provides the social milieu through which new teachers develop their professional identity through various experiences at different stages. Self-confidence, self-efficacy and competence are complementary traits of an effective teacher (Goddard, R. G., Hoy, W. K., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2000), as well as ones which should be fostered through training and professional development activities. The outcomes of this analysis will provide implications for the planning of relevant professional development activities during the induction period, based on the developmental needs of new teachers.