Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication (Name of Journal)

Quality in education: Teaching and leadership in challenging times


Professional Development Centre, Karachi


This paper reports the findings of a qualitative case study conducted in order to understand the learning experiences of a novice primary school teacher, Sajda (pseudonym), who was teaching in a private Community-Based English-Medium School in Karachi. During her appointment as a teacher she had an intermediate level academic qualification and had no exposure to any professional training course. The research question for the study was: How does a novice teacher experience her learning to teach in a private sector school in Karachi, Pakistan? Data for the study was collected through semi-structured interviews and field notes and was analyzed through NVivo, which is a systematic software to analyze qualitative data. Findings of the study show that when Sajda entered the teaching profession she faced different types of experiences in the process of learning to teach. She felt pride and happiness at the time of her appointment as a teacher. Prior to experiencing in the classroom she thought of teaching to be an easy job and that everyone could do that, but as soon as she entered her classroom, she came across a very different situation. She experienced both frustration and shocks. These experiences thus prove to be very different from what she was expecting initially. Data shows that preparations for her classroom teaching, collaborative school environment and professional development courses gave her confidence and encouraged her to overcome the challenges in the classroom. After taking all of this into account, the paper concludes with recommendations and implications for supporting novice teachers in the schools.