Monday, November 18, 2013

A Teacher Ed Program Snapshot

So last week Erin over at The EZ Class posted about Student Teaching and two different ways to be trained in as a teacher. (Check it out here!)

This got me thinking because I have gotten a ton of questions about my student teaching and what I have to do as my final leg of my teacher education program. Turns out that there is a lot of difference state to state. (Recall: I went to the University of Idaho but am student teaching at home in Washington.)

I have gotten quite a mix of reactions from people thinking my requirements are "far too easy to adaquily prepare me" or "unnecessarily hard" or somewhere in between. Honestly, I don't mind either way because I what really determines what I get from the experience is my own effort, whether or not the requirements are easy or hard.

Here is the gist of my teacher ed program experience leading up to student teaching (minus my first year of college as an engineering major!) Keep in mind this is for a Early Childhood Development and Education degree not Elementary Ed.

Year 1
Took general college courses and pre-requisites for teacher ed program. 
Pretty typical first year of college stuff except I got to skip math because of high school Advanced Placement courses. 

Year 2
Applied and got accepted to my university's Teacher Ed Program.
Took 100/200 level courses. First practicum experience in a GenEd classroom instructing students, once a week for two hours during first half of the year and then longer during the second half.

Year 3
Took 200/300 level courses.
Completed a Semester of Preschool Practicum (3 days a week for 5 hours a day in a preschool class rotating lead teacher responsibilities with four other students and a supervising grad student. This was completed at the university preschool on campus.)
Continued practicum experience in GenEd classrooms as well as SpEd classrooms with increasing frequency and length.

Year 4
Took 300/400 level courses.
STEM/Social Studies Education Block*
Literacy/Art Education Block*
Continued practicum experience in Gen and SpEd classrooms with increasing frequency and length.
Take Praxis II: Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood (5691)
Take Praxis II: Early Childhood: Content Knowledge (5022)

Infant Toddler Internship:
8 week SpEd Internship with an Infant Toddler Program**

Student Internship:
8 Week student teaching in Gen Ed class with 4 week as lead teacher
8 Week student teaching in SpEd class with 4 week as lead teacher
Completion of  Teacher Performance Assessment

That was a whole lot more complicated to type than I anticipated and I am sure I left something out! But anyways, I am now on the very last step of my education. I have finished three weeks in a SpEd classroom and have five short weeks left!!

What was your experience like? Specifically, what was your student internship like? I'm curious what others have to do.

PS: Don't get me started on the process of getting my residential certification in Washington though (hint: more tests to take and more money to pay).

*Block Classes: a set of classes that work cooperatively. Projects often span over multiple classes with integration of subjects.

**Idaho's Infant Toddler Program (ITP): coordinates a system of early intervention services to assist Idaho children birth to three years of age who have a developmental delay or who have conditions (such as premature, Down Syndrome, hearing loss) that may result in a developmental delay.

The ITP links children with services that promote their physical, mental and emotional development and supports the needs of their families. These can include therapeutic, educational, and supportive services.


  1. So after these last 5 weeks are you eligible to look for work and have your own class? Wow all the best!! Do you have an early childhood qualification? Based on what your placements/papers look like, it would be like our early years programme here - which lets you teach in preschool, or kindergarten (which here in New Zealand isn't the same as you. Preschool/Kindy are kinda the same thing - 3-4 year olds. We start school at 5 here.)
    Learning to be Awesome/The E-Z Class

    1. Yep! I can start applying for jobs on Dec 20th. My degree qualifies me to teach preschool to third grade as a General Education or Special Education teacher. The development portion of my degree would allow me to work as a Child Development Specialist with infants and toddlers. Right now my ideal job would be a GenEd First Grade teacher but I am open to whatever I can get!

  2. I totally agree with you when you say that really, it is all about the effort that you put into it. I used to get so frustrated when I would spend so much time and effort on every single project or assignment and someone who never came to class and whipped something up the night before would get the same A+ grade. It made me not want to even try, but I knew that I was responsible for preparing myself for this career more than anyone. :)

    Teaching With Hope

    1. I know EXACTLY what you mean! I went through the same realization. Glad to know that others share similar experiences though.