Student teaching is the culminating experience in your preparation to become a teacher, allowing you to put theory into practice with guided teaching under the direction of a cooperating teacher and college supervisor.
The Professional Semester
We offer student teaching both fall and spring semesters. 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, which includes:
- Student teaching placement
- Student Teaching Seminar
- Perspectives in Education (Educ 500)
- Senior Seminar (unless taken in a previous semester)
You’ll work with at least one cooperating teacher (and up to three) who is experienced and highly qualified in his or her content area. You’ll also be assigned to and observed by a highly qualified, experienced college supervisor. The college supervisor will visit you four to six times during the 12-week placement and is responsible for assigning your final grade. Major departments are also encouraged to observe secondary student teachers during the experience.
Student Teaching Placements
Students seeking K–8 certification are assigned to an elementary or middle school classroom.
Students seeking elementary certification with an endorsement in learning disabilities or emotional impairments 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 11 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
Students seeking 6–12 certification are assigned a secondary (middle or high school) assignment in their area(s) of endorsement.
Students also 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.
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. Students also discuss and reflect on their current classroom teaching experiences.
The NASDTEC Interstate Agreement facilitates the mobility of educators among the states and other jurisdictions that are members of NASDTEC and have signed the Agreement. Although there may be conditions applicable to individual jurisdictions, the Agreement makes it possible for an educator who completed an approved program and/or who holds a certificate or license in one jurisdiction to earn a certificate or license in another state or jurisdiction. Receiving states may impose certain special requirements which must be met in a reasonable period of time. Visit the NASDTEC site to review specific state-by-state requirements for teachers: https://www.nasdtec.net/page/Interstate
applying to student teach
Learn more about the deadlines and criteria for student teaching.
student teach outside of west michigan
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