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Fall 2010 Student Teaching Updates

Important changes for fall 2010 student teachers

The following information will answer questions for students approved to student teach Fall 2010:

Attempting the appropriate Praxis II exam prior to your student teaching experience is required. If you have already attempted it (whether you passed or not), you have met that requirement. If you did not pass it, you will be enrolled in EDUC 475 during the Fall 2010 semester, which will help you prepare for your second attempt.

Fingerprinting through L-1 Enrollment Services is required prior to your student teaching experience. This is different from the Family Care Safety Registry. Your fingerprinting results are not sent to the School of Education, so it is your responsibility to provide Kelly Doel with a copy of your clearance letter when you receive it, preferably by June 30, 2010.

It has become necessary to make some changes in how clinical and filed experiences are structured at Drury. The ethical issue we as faculty face, however, is allowing those currently in the pipeline to be disadvantaged by not providing them with the opportunity for a fundamentally better student teaching experience that will prepare them well to work with children and increase their employability. I will list below some of the basic opportunities that are now available to all of our students:

  1. EDUC 338 Elementary Curriculum or EDUC 385 Secondary Curriculum must be taken two semesters prior to student teaching. From now on, these courses will be offered in the summer, day, and evening for a full term, no block on the front end of the student teaching semester as is the approach at the St. Robert campus. We have been advised by ETS and others that our students will likely score higher on the Praxis II for elementary if we can change both the focus of the EDUC 338/385 class and the place in the sequence it occurs. For elementary, there is a great deal thrown in there in terms of competencies, and the block did not provide a good treatment overall in preparing candidates for the student teaching experience. These courses will be offered this summer and should be taken prior to student teaching.

  2. EDUC 331 will be offered as a 16-week class taken concurrently with student teaching. Eventually this two hour class will round out the student teaching semester where 10 hours of student teaching will be taken with the two hours of EDUC 331 for a 12 hour semester. The focus of this class will be on coupling reading in the content field with evidence based strategies to increase support for those in the various student teaching placements and the positive impact of our candidates on the achievement of children and youth in pk-12 schools. This course will be offered as a 16-week course Fall 2010.

  3. EDUC 360 Classroom Management is moving to an earlier point in the course sequence and should be completed prior to student teaching. This course will be offered this summer.

  4. The biggest advantage to eliminating the block is that teacher education candidates will now be able to begin the fall semester in their student teaching placement. So, you will now be able to help set up the classroom alongside your cooperating teacher for the start of the new school year, learning a fundamental and important set of classroom management skills that have not been a part of the program. Also, if not in the Teacher Education Alliance (TEA) in our partner schools, or the new opportunity to complete part of student teaching in India, the time commitment will continue to be 11 weeks through the fall and spring 2010-2011 academic year. Drury students will be able to finish their student teaching sooner in the semester, thus allowing substitute teaching opportunities or time for completing additional coursework.

  5. Finally, during this time of transition, I will have the professors for the evening class of EDUC 338 and 385 focus on opportunities to integrate key competencies within applied activities completed as part of student teaching. We may be able to differentiate instruction for those taking student teaching this fall, perhaps reducing seat time in the class in place of the applied work done in the schools.


Regards,

Dr. Chris Craig
Director, School of Education and Child Development