STUDENT TEACHING normally takes place every spring semester. Students register for 3.5 units—3 for student teaching and a half-unit for the student teaching seminar. Student teaching is a full-time commitment involving teaching, planning, and other in-school responsibilities, and various assignments originating from the half-unit course.
The Student Teaching Experience
Student Teaching is one of the most important experiences that future teachers will have in their teacher education program. It provides an extended, intensive opportunity for the prospective teacher to acquire an understanding of the teaching-learning process as encountered in actual classrooms. Student teaching is a laboratory for the testing of ideas, a place to encounter real challenges, and an opportunity to develop the habits of reflection and analysis. It is the defining experience for creating competent, committed professional teachers for a diverse, democratic society.
During student teaching, teacher education candidates observe, participate, and teach in a regular classroom for an extended period under the supervision of experienced teachers from the school and university. Ohio Wesleyan student teachers are expected to know their subject areas and use a variety of appropriate instructional strategies to help their students learn. Throughout the experience, student teachers should demonstrate growth in being comfortable with and appreciative of all students and be eager to contribute to the school, community, and teaching profession.
Objectives of Student Teaching
During the course of the student teaching experience, the student teacher should learn and be able to demonstrate the following:
- skill and confidence in teaching by gradually assuming responsibility for the cooperating teacher’s class schedule, while receiving constructive help, criticism, and encouragement from the cooperating teacher, university supervisor, and content area advisor (AYA and Multi-Age Licenses);
- the influence on the teaching-learning process of all aspects of human development, of cultural background, and of learning differences;
- effective techniques for motivating students;
- how to plan effectively for all phases of learning;
- how to implement a broad range of teaching strategies, including the use of technology, relevant to the licensure area;
- how to manage class time efficiently and effectively;
- methods for promoting active involvement in the learning process for all students;
- ability to diagnose and meet the needs of all learners, and evaluate their progress;
- ability to employ a variety of grouping structures so as to maximize learning for all students;
- how to effectively and honestly use one’s own personality strengths to advantage in the classroom;
- ability to be self-evaluative of strengths as well as weaknesses, appreciate and use the constructive criticism and suggestions of others, and try creative new strategies in the classroom; and the
- desire to meet one’s professional responsibilities with enthusiasm and commitment.
Candidate Eligibility for Student Teaching
Enrollment in Student Teaching (clinical practice) is open only to those teacher education candidates who have successfully met all the Gateway 2 requirements prescribed by the Education Unit for their licensure program and who have obtained Full Admission to their licensure program. These requirements include the following:
- Required SAT/ACT scores or completion of Praxis I: Core Academic Skills for Educators tests.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 in teaching area coursework.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in professional education courses.
- Successful completion (C- or higher) of all methods courses.
- Satisfactory completion of field experience(s).
- Proficient or above on the majority (five or more) of the categories on the OWU Field Experience Evaluation Form - no categories rated Unsatisfactory.*
- Adequate or higher score on all categories on the Field Experience Self-Reflection Paper.
- No more than one unacceptable score on the Dispositional Assessment.
Candidates who have previously received a grade of “U” or a grade lower than a “C-” in a Student Teaching experience are ineligible to register for additional units of Student Teaching. Candidates who apply for Student Teaching but fail to meet the requirements will be notified of this situation in writing.
Placement of teacher education candidates for Student Teaching is the responsibility of the program faculty in the relevant licensure area. Candidates complete data sheets and Student Teaching applications, depending on the individual licensing program. Faculty use this information as they work with local school administrators in securing placements in which each candidate can succeed.
It is occasionally necessary to change a student teaching placement. The school district may request the removal of a candidate after extensive discussions with the cooperating teacher, candidate, and university supervisor. In rare cases, the candidate may request a change of placement. Such a decision must not be made lightly and is done only after all other possible solutions to the situation have been exhausted. Final decisions regarding placement changes rest with the Program Directors and Chair of the Education Unit.