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Student Teaching Semester

Student teaching is the culminating experience in a prospective teacher's preparation. It is this Level III field experience that focuses on "Applying Learning through Teaching" and allows the student to put theory into practice. The student teacher experiences guided teaching under the direction of a cooperating teacher and college supervisor.

The Professional Semester

Student teaching is offered during both the fall and spring semesters at Hope College. All students seeking teacher certification spend at least one semester (15-16 weeks) in a full-day student teaching assignment appropriate to their level and subject specialty. This experience is part of the Professional Semester in which students complete the student teaching placement, the Student Teaching Seminar, Perspectives in Education (Educ 500), as well as Senior Seminar (unless taken in a previous semester).

All student teachers work with at least one cooperating teacher who is experienced and highly qualified in his/her content area; some may work with up to three. Every student teacher is also assigned to and observed by a College Supervisor who is also highly qualified and experienced. The College Supervisor visits the student teacher 4-6 times during the 12-week placement and is responsible for assigning the final grade. Major departments are also encouraged to observe secondary student teachers during the student teaching experience.

Student Teaching Placements

Students seeking K-8 certification are assigned to an elementary or middle school classroom. Students seeking 6-12 certification are assigned a secondary (middle or high school) assignment in their area(s) of endorsement. Students who are following the secondary track and seeking K-12 endorsements in music, visual arts, physical education or dance are given an assignment in their area of endorsement which includes experiences at both the elementary and secondary levels. Spanish education majors who are following the elementary track/K-12 endorsement are required to complete a student teaching placement in an elementary classroom as well as an assignment in Spanish at the secondary level.

Students seeking elementary certification with an endorsement in Learning Disabilities or Emotional Impairments must complete one student teaching assignment in a general elementary education classroom and a second in the appropriate special education classroom. During the fall semester, students take a five-week, six-credit special education block followed by eleven weeks of student teaching. During the spring semester, the special education majors follow the Professional Semester configuration and complete 15-16 weeks of student teaching. Special education majors following the secondary certification track will student teach in a special education setting at the middle or high school level. Efforts will be made to provide a student teaching opportunity in the minor area of study as well.

The Student Teaching Seminar

During the student teaching experience, student teachers are required to register for and attend the weekly evening Student Teaching Seminar. Some of the sessions are general in nature (e.g., resume writing, certification, portfolio design, etc.). Others are grade level specific (elementary, secondary and special education). In the grade level meetings topics such as classroom management, conferencing, and teaching and learning strategies are presented. It is at this time that students discuss and reflect upon their current classroom teaching experiences as well.

Student Teaching Coursework

During the student teaching semester, most students complete sixteen (16) semester hours of credit. Coursework generally consists of:

  • EDUC 500 - Perspectives in Education (3 hrs.)
  • IDS ___ - Senior Seminar to complete core requirements (3 hrs.)
  • EDUC ___ - Student Teaching (9 hrs.)
  • EDUC 455 - Student Teaching Seminar (1 hr.)
  • Senior Seminar and EDUC 500 – Senior Seminar and Perspectives in Education are offered in a special once-a-week format for the student teacher. Students return to campus one afternoon each week in order to complete these courses. Some students, though, who have completed the Senior Seminar prior to student teaching need only enroll in EDUC 500. Beginning in the 2013-2014 academic year, EDUC 500 will move to a 1-credit course and the Senior Seminar will move to a 4-credit format.
  • EDUC 455 – Student Teaching Seminar - Part of the student teaching experience includes a weekly, 1-credit seminar. The evening Student Teaching Seminar takes place one evening each week during the student teaching semester and attendance is required. (Special Education majors take the Seminar during both student teaching experiences.)
  • Student Teaching – Student teachers register for one of the following: EDUC 470-Student Teaching in the Elementary/Middle School, EDUC 480-Student Teaching in the Middle/High School, EDUC 485-Student Teaching K-12, EDUC 460-Student Teaching: Special Education Learning Disabilities or EDUC 465-Student Teaching Special Education Emotional Impairments. Beginning in the 2013-2014 academic year, these courses will move to a 10-credit configuration.