Teach the Earth > Teacher Preparation > Workshops and Activities > Workshop 2003 > Program Guide > Teaching Experiences

Gaining Real World Experience in Research and Teaching

Saturday May 16, 1:00 pm


Teaching Experiences Group

Critical Aspects

  • Scheduling
  • Partnership with teachers and schools
  • Observations work well if teachers know that's what's needed
  • Be clear about needs/goals of classroom visits
  • Coordination between colleges and schools must be priority and clear – need committed coordinator
  • Value opinion of practicing teachers and needs of district
  • Placement of student teachers with pressure of teaching to tests (given in spring)
  • Included awareness and appropriate modifications/addressing issues of disabilities

Conditions for Success

  • Consistency in planning and scheduling – students must be reliable to work with teachers
  • Commited coordination/coordinator
  • Students need to be committed to the classroom – be there regularly and reliably so that teacher can rely on them and not "double plan"
  • Approach school with "what can we do for you" attitude
  • Universities and schools need to work together to develop effective workforce
  • Have parents have confidence in preservice teacher – especially with state mandated testing preparation

Why are these experiences important?

  • Gives students opportunities early and opportunities to get to konw what goes on in a school (local schools in particular)
  • Get buy-in by classroom teachers who will be supervising student teachers and observations (develop master teacher pool)
  • Freshens up inservice teacher curriculum by having input from preservice students
  • Need to be clear that we are preparing effective teachers – need to be brave enough to remove those who should be removed from the classroom
  • Gives students opportunities to learn from mistakes by repeating lessons early and often
  • Gives students opportunities to see "real world" of school – everything from lessons to other activities during the routine day
  • Can be an opportunity to place students in situations they may otherwise avoid
  • Can we think of these opportunities similar to the way we approach ideas about benefits of research experiences – training for future parenting, political, educational opportunities?
  • Benefits for someone who ultimately may not teach, but learn to interact with teachers and students in K - 16 levels – which can benefit research and science later
  • Potentially build cadre of higher-level teachers or people involved in community education

Evidence of importance and impact

Success stories from existing blended programs in the California State University system, Western Washington, and University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.


New models

  • PLTL program
  • Student teacher contracts to be clear that student knows what's expected
  • Substitute teaching opportunities – allows teacher to leave a more advanced lesson plan (for states that don't require a Bachelor's)
  • Models – problem – depends on who the faculty member is doing the teaching
  • Bring student groups to preservice students who each develop one activity – preservice students practice activity as kids rotate through stations
  • Secondary teachers – senior research project – work with local HS teacher – work up lessons for 3-4 activities and teach to local class

Low-end way to get some classroom experience - Easy ways to get started

  • Content area faculty member makes connection with COE who has contact with schools, make intros to principals and teachers
  • Make connections with principal and make them part of the experience
  • Assignment for intro course – science day in schools – prepare lesson to teach in local elementary school (Stout JGE)
  • Geology day at W&M – Saturday activities for school kids (Shotwell)
  • Grass-roots efforts can be useful
  • Do campus scan to get examples or opportunities for collaboration
  • Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts/Girls & Boys clubs