The capstone experience of every prospective teacher's preparation program is an intense but rewarding student teaching internship completed in a local school setting under the supervision of a cooperating teacher. But there's much more to the Education Semester than student teaching. Click through the links to the left for more information about each of the components of the Education Semester, and be sure to familiarize yourself with the glossary terms below to get a better sense of what happens during this important experience.
The Education Semester: Key Players
Co-operating Teachers (Co-ops): Your cooperating teacher, or co-op, is your first and most important resource during the student teaching experience. Co-ops are selected not only because they have distinguished themselves as effective teachers but also because they have shown an interest in helping new teachers join the profession. Generally speaking, we encourage co-ops to give student teachers the space as well as the support they need to find their strengths and identify areas of improvement throughout the semester.
College Supervisors: In addition to the guidance provided by the co-op during the Education Semester, student teachers also receive regular support from a college supervisor. Your college supervisor will make contact with you every week throughout the student teaching experience and visit your classroom regularly to ensure that you are progressing toward compliance with the rigorous standards for teacher preparation established by the Education Department. Current students will be assigned to one of two supervisors: Mr. William Foreman, the Department's Director of Field Experiences, or Mr. Edward Ruggles, the Department's Certification Officer.
Seminar Instructor: One of the requirements of the Education Semester is enrollment in a student teaching seminar. The seminar, which is currently configured as Education 405, provides student teachers with an opportunity to discuss the triumphs and challenges of learning to teach in a supportive community of "critical friends" brought together to ensure that the student teaching experience is as fulfilling as possible. The seminar instructor, a full-time member of the Education Department faculty, helps facilitate these conversations and also directs student teachers in the creation of their capstone portfolio/research projects. Between Education 405 and Education 476 (Student Teaching), students earn four full course units toward graduation during the Education Semester. Students completing student teaching during a Ninth Semester do not receive course unit credit for Education 405 and Education 476 but must complete the courses in order to be recommended for certification.