Elementary Education Teacher Preparation
What is co-teaching?
Co-teaching has a variety of different meanings. During your internship, you will be in the role as an assistant teacher. At the beginning, this might mean you are observing and assisting students, while your Mentor Teacher is teaching as lesson. Later in the year, co-teaching could take the form of parallel teaching where both you and the MT have responsibilities in the lesson and are teaching different parts of the lesson or different student groups in the same classroom. Co-teaching naturally takes the form of team-teaching and leading a learning center. Like any part of your internship, effective co-teaching requires reflection and debriefing with your MT.
Who is on the MSU support team and what is a cluster?
Throughout your internship there are a whole host of people who support you. This team includes your field instructor, cluster leader, the Elementary Teacher Preparation Program Coordinator, and the Elementary Teacher Preparation Program Secretary. Each person has unique responsibilities to guide and mentor you through program. A cluster is how the elementary schools affiliated with the internship program are grouped. Schools are arranged by Internship Clusters and each set of 4-6 schools is associated with particular sections of TE 801, 802, 803 and 804. Other sets of schools (not necessarily the same as the internship clusters) work with TE 301, 401 and 402. This allows course instructors to communicate with a smaller number of schools to maintain closer communication regarding MSU course work and the interns’ classroom-based and school-based experiences.
What does a field instructor do?
The field instructor is the College of Education’s representative at each internship school. The field instructor supports the learning of interns and the work of the mentor teachers. The field instructor will work with interns and mentor teachers both individually and in groups. Likewise, the field instructor will visit your classroom, lead conferences with you and your mentor teacher, conduct seminars, and observe your teaching and provide feedback. The field instructor is also there to listen to your problems, frustrations, and “aha” moments.
What is the seminar for?
The 501/502 seminar time is structured to provide support for you in your classroom experiences as an intern. The seminar time also provides another outlet and connection to Michigan State University. Seminar can be a time that you will discuss coursework related to your 800 level classes. Most of all, though, seminar time is designed to allow you to reflect on your progress as a beginning teacher.
Why do we have 800 level coursework as part of the internship?
The 800 level coursework is designed to build upon your introductory-level knowledge to help you develop skill and proficiency in applying new knowledge in context-specific situations-at this grade level, in this school, in this district. The coursework is also designed to go beyond the introductions to the teaching of literacy, math, science and social studies that you experienced in the 400 level courses. Finally, the coursework is a vital part of planning out the units and lessons that you teach. It will help you connect earlier studies with your actions as a teacher, so you can draw on those studies over a period of years.
What will I do in my 800 level courses?
As part of the 800 level coursework, you will learn about and discuss current issues in education. You will also create, teach, and assess units of study. The coursework will assist you in your crafting of unit and lesson plans which are aligned with school objectives as well as the state frameworks and benchmarks.
As part of this coursework, you will also analyze your own teaching and learn how to differentiate your instruction.
How is the internship year different than my senior year?
The biggest difference is the transition to becoming a professional teacher. In your internship year you are changing from a student into a teacher. You will now be considered part of the staff of the at your placement school. Another change you should quickly notice and be aware of is dressing professional. Your overall image should speak “teacher” and you need to be a professional in your mannerisms and your talk. Finally, during your internship year you will be making a commitment to your students, your mentor teacher, to your field placement school, and to the many responsibilities of the internship. This may mean leaving another job.
When does internship begin and end? Do we follow the school or the MSU schedule?
First, know that a mandatory Orientation for interns and mentor teachers is held the week or two before MSU classes begin. You will be expected to begin your field placement officially on the first day that teachers in that district report for work. Generally, you will follow your placement school’s calendar for holidays and winter and spring breaks, although you must follow the schedule for MSU class meetings each semester, regardless of your school’s breaks. You will officially be finished with your internship on the last day of MSU’s spring semester, providing no extenuating circumstances arise that would extend the end date for your internship.
What is the internship schedule like? Can I plan to work in the evenings?
The internship schedule is intensive. You are expected to keep your weekdays until 5:00 p.m. available for internship-related activities. You will need to meet with your Mentor Teacher after school, attend faculty meetings and after school events, and attend university classes. You will also need time to plan and prepare lessons, grade papers, etc. Many interns do need to work during the internship year but it is recommended that you work no more than ten hours per week and on the weekends only. If a heavier work schedule appears necessary for you, talk it over with your team coordinator.
How much does the internship year cost?
Information about the tuition and fees for the internship year can be found on the financial aid website at http://www.finaid.msu.edu/. You can use the Cost Calculator to compute your estimated tuition and fees. For Your Level, select teacher certification intern. For How many credits? (one semester), enter 12. The calculator will return the cost per semester, so you will need to double this to estimate the total tuition and fees for the internship year.
What kinds of financial support are available for the internship year?
Many of the College of Education scholarships are still available for the internship year. Go to the College of Education website at http://www.educ.msu.edu/ for information about MSU-based scholarships. Applications are typically available for these scholarships in December. Because as an intern (except for music education student teachers) you are no longer an undergraduate, you will have independent student status for financial aid purposes. You will also no longer be subject to the undergraduate cap on financial aid. As a result, you will qualify for a financial aid package and should fill out a FAFSA form. For more information and to fill out the FAFSA, go to http://www.finaid.msu.edu/. Note especially the link for the Teaching Internship at the left. If you have questions, contact Mary Kimball in the Financial Aid Office.
Can I make my own arrangements for an intern placement?
Absolutely NOT. The Elementary Teacher Preparation Program develops and maintains working relationships with particular schools in particular districts. Each district has its own policies and procedures, and often we must work through the central administration of a district which reviews and gives approval for placements in particular schools. Our goal is to place interns in clusters so that an MSU field instructor can work with a group of interns in a school and so that interns have a peer support group as they move through this intensive and challenging year. If there are special circumstances you would like to discuss about an intern placement, talk to one of the Elementary Teacher Preparation Program Coordinators.