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The challenges novice teachers face as they adjust to inservice teaching are well documented. However, relatively little attention has been given to beginning teachers in rural schools who have had previous careers in other professions. We used qualitative methods to examine the professional experiences and perceptions of four career-changing first-year teachers in rural schools, seeking to identify significant issues in their professional developmental processes. Three primary themes emerged: evidence of effectiveness as teachers; mentoring career changers, and; adjustment to rural school and community. We conclude with implications and recommendations for educators working to support this unique population of educators in preservice preparation programs and rural school districts.

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This document was originally published by the Center on Rural Education and Communities, Penn State College of Education in Journal of Research in Rural Education. Copyright restrictions may apply.