Harper, Jennifer Le' Shay
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Two hundred and nine pre-service teacher candidates, at the beginning of what was for most their first course in education, wrote reflective journal entries in response to an open-ended question about what would be the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of teaching for them. Some of the challenges they discussed are realistic, such as classroom discipline and motivating students, but these pre-service teachers do not demonstrate an awareness of or concern for the aspects of teaching that drive so many out of the profession. Their responses express an optimistic expectation that the positive aspects of teaching will outweigh the challenges. Implications for teacher education and retention are discussed.