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Exploring the role of the school management teams in inducting novice educators.

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The purpose of this study was to explore the understanding of school management teams (SMTs) members of their role in inducting novice educators. The study sought to investigate the role played by SMT in the induction of novice educators, their lived experiences, perceived challenges and mitigation strategies. Reviewed literature revealed that due to their liminality and lack of experience, novice educators often experience challenges in their initial years of teaching. The challenges that novice educators experience include, inter alia, classroom management, learner discipline, management of learners’ behaviour, accommodation of diverse learning needs, time management, conflict with parents, discipline, and motivating learners This was a qualitative study, located within an interpretive paradigm. The sample for the study comprised five (5) members of school management teams from two secondary schools in UThukela District, KwaZulu-Natal. The sample of SMT members included school principals and Departmental Heads. The key research questions for the study were investigated through face-to-face semi-structured interviews, with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. The findings of this study revealed that SMT members understood and somewhat performed their role of inducting novice educators. However, most of the induction took place informally, due to the limited time that SMT members had. In addition, SMT members reported that they had not received training or support from the Department of Education on the induction of novice educators. However, despite the challenges encountered, SMT reported that they used their knowledge and experience to ensure that novice educators in their schools were orientated and inducted. For instance, they used subject and departmental meetings held per term to encourage collaboration between novice and experienced educators to ensure support and guidance for novice educators. The findings point to the resilience of the SMT members in that they did something to ensure that novice educators were inducted, despite the challenges that they were facing.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.