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Farstein E.,


Teachers’ professional identity is a complex process. It develops slowly, according to concrete situations with which the intern copes, and to school context, making it a matter of cross-linking between external demands and the subjective self-perception associated with the position.

Goddard & Foster [1] claim that teachers' professional identity begins to develop at the induction stage, a fact that is in line with the perception that the process is a dynamic and structured one, that develops through negotiations with various entities that constitute an integral part of environment, as Rodger & Scott and Boreham & Gray claim [2]. Coulter & Lester [3] also support the perception that professional identity is a dynamic process and add that it is unique to each teacher since it derives from his personal life experiences, including his absorption into the job, his encounters and his career development. In trying to integrate the understandings he has gained from learned theories with practice on the ground, including interpretations and insights he has acquired, the new teacher can develop in different directions. This occurs through the awareness that the changes are part of self-development, of coping with the image of teaching and perseverance in the discipline. Such complexity in the role of the teacher creates an inseparable bond between perceptions of self-identity and professional identity. Thus the definition of professional identity does not include only the formal ones but also those that contain emotional involvement [4]. Additional support for this perception is obtained from the many and varied metaphors that were identified by Thomas & Beauchamp [5], reflecting different and varied perspectives that beginning teachers present with respect to the development of their professional identity on commencement and , subsequently, in the course of their career.