Jennifer Sharples Reichenberg 0000-0001-9391-3033

Crystal A. Elias 0000-0001-5514-2346


This phenomenological qualitative study examined the experiences of graduate-level teacher candidates enrolled in teacher residency programs and serving as teacher aides or assistants (TAs). Some participants were graduate-level teacher candidates already employed as TAs in a large urban district and enrolled in an Urban Pipeline Residency Program, a state-funded diversity initiative designed to increase the number of teachers from underrepresented groups by supporting TAs to pursue teacher certification. Additional participants were enrolled in the Traditional Residency Program and completed residencies in other local districts. Survey and interview data from TA/teacher candidates, mentors, and instructors showed that TA/teacher candidates in both groups experienced conflicting roles and identities, balanced demands of different classroom settings, lacked access to knowledge and materials, and balanced demands on their time. Informed by role theory, identity work, and culturally responsive pedagogy, this study suggests that programs for TA/teacher candidates may benefit from negotiating these tensions through: 1) support for TA/teacher candidates to develop their identities as teachers to address role conflict, 2) strong communication protocols to address role clarity, and 3) increased access to tools and knowledge to address role enactment.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.