Frequently Asked Questions
I will not be graduating until December. Can I begin my internship in the following spring semester?
No. Internships begin in the fall and end in the spring. The internship is designed to give interns experiences in school settings that orient them to the rhythm and flow of a teacher's work life. In addition, the seminar courses during the internship are designed as two-semester course sequences that support interns' work in schools. The courses are designed to be completed concurrently with the internship field placement. The fall course in each sequence (TE 801 or TE 802) must be completed in order to begin the spring course (TE 803 or TE 804). The exception to this is music education and CSD students, who complete only one semester of the internship field placement and may do so in the fall or spring semester.
When will I find out who my field instructor is?
Field instructors will be introduced at the Opening Day Institutes in August. See for the date of this event.
I'm having a conflict with my mentor teacher/field instructor/course instructor. With whom do I speak about this conflict?
Field instructors are a good source of support for negotiating the relationships between mentor teachers and interns. Subject area leaders oversee the work of field instructors and course instructors and are a good place to start if you are having difficulty with one of these people. Team coordinators are also available to help with resolving conflicts among members of the intern's support network. See Secondary Team Intern Year Personnel.
What should I be doing when I am not the lead teacher in my mentor's classroom?
Reports from past interns and mentors suggest that abrupt transitions between the intern's lead teaching responsibilities and the mentor's teaching responsibilities are not in the best interest of the intern, the mentor or the students they are teaching. All parties benefit from collaborative responsibilities for the education of the students in the classroom across the year. When the intern is not teaching, he or she should still have a presence and responsibility in the classroom for all but one of the mentor teacher's class periods. The intern can work with individuals or small groups, engage in demonstrations/dialogues/debates with the mentor teacher to illustrate concepts to students, manage routines and deal with standard interruptions to the class (admitting late students, finding make-up work for students who were absent, answering the door or phone, etc.). Interns should also participate in collaborative planning of these classes with their mentor and collaborative assessment/grading of student work. Likewise, while the intern is teaching, the mentor can collaborate with and provide support to the intern in a variety of ways, as appropriate for the stage of the year and the lessons being presented.
The windows for the Guided Lead Teaching/Lead Teaching period(s) do not line up well with events at my school. What should I do?
First – do not panic. This happens regularly. The windows for the periods of increased teaching responsibility for interns are noted in the calendar in order to coordinate these periods with the weeks during which the seminar courses do not meet. There is some flexibility in the start and end dates of these periods for interns so that they can align well with schedules in the placement schools. However, remember that interns must attend all MSU classes, even if these occur during the intern's lead teaching periods. Significant deviations from the schedules in the calendar can upset the balance of school-based work and seminar-based work for interns. Talk with your field instructor about the best way to balance the demands of the school and the seminar, and to design a manageable teaching schedule for the intern that is in the spirit of the model described in the handbook.
I have two mentor teachers. How does this affect my teaching schedule?
Interns with two mentors should have regular and consistent planning time with each mentor. Interns will still have one focus class and will follow the model described in Stages of the Internship Year for their total teaching load at each stage. Early in the year, and then again prior to each transition of teaching responsibility, the intern and both mentors should meet to discuss the intern's teaching responsibilities and other responsibilities for the upcoming stage.