“Research shows that an inspiring and informed teacher is the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement,” according to Edutopia.
That is why Assumption students spend 400 hours in area classrooms learning with experienced mentor teachers and working with students at the grade-levels they aspire to teach. It starts in their first year and it’s giving them time to apply what they’ve learned in their bachelor’s degree programs in education.
Through student teaching, education students surprise themselves and learn important components of teaching that just can’t happen in a college classroom — patience, professionalism, handling behavior issues, and simply practicing teaching with an experienced mentor by their side.
“Just as professionals in medicine, architecture, and law have opportunities to learn through examining case studies, learning best practices, and participating in internships, exemplary teacher-preparation programs allow teacher candidates the time to apply their learning of theory in the context of teaching in a real classroom,” Edutopia says.
Assumption student Vanessa Arroyo had her student teaching experience at the Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, Massachusetts. Without an internship experience, she would have never learned the importance of flexibility in teaching.
“Sometimes a lesson is not going as well as you would like it to and you need to switch things up – it’s all about being on your toes,” said Arroyo.
Rachel Lotan, professor of education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and director of the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) emphasizes the importance of education students spending a significant amount of time in their classrooms.
“Student teachers who spend a whole year in classrooms get to know their students deeply, recognize and appreciate the arc of a year-long curriculum, and experience schools as workplaces. Mentored by experienced professionals, these student teachers are able to make crucial connections between what they hear, read, and talk about in their university courses and what they see and do in the classroom.”