Goals of Student Teaching
Student teaching is the culminating experience in a student’s preparation to become a teacher. However, we expect that our program graduates will never finish developing and growing as teachers, so it is also a beginning.
The purpose of student teaching is to provide a safe and supervised environment in which the student teacher slowly assumes more and more teaching duties until he/she is responsible for the entire day. We would like student teachers to teach full days for 4-5 weeks, if possible, so that they get a real feel for what teaching is like and experience the classroom after the effects of being new have worn off. We do want to ease students in gradually, but we also believe that student teachers will benefit from having as much experience as possible.
Student teaching is an important time in the development of a teacher. In the Department of Education at Grinnell College we, who supervise student teachers, want to provide them and their cooperating teacher with the necessary support during this exciting but sometimes exhausting time.
Placements and Expectations
Most students will do their student teaching in Grinnell or nearby communities. Schools where we make placements represent a good cross-section of types of experiences and some of our schools serve ethnically diverse populations. Placements are made in consultation with the student, and we try to consider the students’ needs, strengths, and future plans when we make a placement.
We want students to view student teaching as an entry to the profession, not a college course. This new profession includes a number of responsibilities, and the extent to which students take them seriously will contribute to a positive student teaching experience. Student teachers should understand that all responsibilities and policies that apply to regularly employed teachers apply to them as well.
In that vein, student teaching is a full time job. The expectations are the same for student teachers as for teachers in terms of a forty-hour workweek with additional meetings after school and frequent lesson planning and paper checking in the evenings. Student teachers should expect that planning would take much more time during student teaching and the first year of a job than it will in subsequent years.
Student Teaching Application Process
Students will NOT be automatically placed in student teaching if they complete the required courses. Students must apply to student teach. Application forms will be sent to all program students who complete the necessary courses.
The application is due the second Friday in February prior to your student teaching.
The Teacher Education Committee will review your application and send you a letter confirming your acceptance in late April. The requirements for student teaching are listed below so you can see what personal qualities and skills you need to develop and demonstrate during your undergraduate Teacher Education Program. See applying for student teaching for relevant forms and documents.
Overview of Requirements for Student Teaching
See applying for student teaching for detailed requirements and necessary forms necessary.
- Ability to work constructively with students, demonstrated by successful completion of field experiences and cooperating teachers’ evaluation.
- Sufficient mastery of the discipline(s) for which licensure is sought.
- Strong liberal arts education background.
- A basic knowledge of education theory, history, and practice including an understanding of the interdependence of education and society and the importance of individual identity in teaching and learning.
- Students must demonstrate a commitment to equity and knowledge of theories of development and learning.
- Skills in preparing and teaching lessons in accordance with principles learned in core and methods courses.
- Good communication skills and the ability to establish constructive relationships.
Performance Assessment and Feedback
In addition to your core course grades, you will have evaluations from the practicing teachers you work with during your field experiences and substantial feedback from the instructors of your methods courses. Each semester during pre-registration, you and your adviser will discuss your progress in the performance assessment system, your College BASE scores, field experience evaluations, GPA requirements, and any other concerns that you or your education faculty have. You will receive timely feedback and your adviser will help you make specific plans to address any areas of concern. See performance assessments for detailed information about the process.