Novice ESOL Teachers' Perceptions of Social Support Networks



As new teachers navigate the challenging first years of work, they need positive support providers (Villani, 2002). The impact of support providers on novice educators' beliefs about teaching efficacy previously went unexplored. This study examined novice English to speakers of other languages (ESOL) teachers' perceptions of social support and teacher efficacy using integrated qualitative and quantitative methods (Morgan, 1998, 2011). In the initial qualitative component, novice teachers identified three categories of support: mentors, coworkers, family. The Teachers' Sense of Teacher Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) was administered to examine potential links between support providers and three areas of perceived teacher efficacy: instructional strategies, student engagement, classroom management. Support appraisals were examined for each support domain using a modified version of the Perceived Social Support Inventory (Procidano & Heller, 1983) to assess the degree to which novice teachers felt supported. Teachers reported coworkers and mentors as the most significant support providers, yet only family support was significantly associated with teacher efficacy beliefs in the quantitative portion of this study. Novice teachers were also asked to elaborate on the frequency, type, and quality of support offered by family, friends, and mentors.