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In this article, we examine the perceptions of one first-year teacher of students with LD, focusing on the factors that contributed to her successes and failures and on the tactics that enabled her to survive her first year. Why is it important to identify the perceptions of first-year teachers? First, understanding their perceptions may be important in the retention of those teachers. The attrition rates of teachers in special education are alarmingly high. One factor that has been shown to reduce attrition rates for beginning teachers is a positive initial teaching experience. If we can identify the factors that affect the perceptions of first-year teachers, perhaps we can design strategies to ensure positive initial teaching experiences and thereby improve the health, efficacy, and employment longevity of our most valuable beginning teachers
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