Pre-Student Teaching Practicums
Teacher education courses include practicums that give you experience observing and assisting in school classes prior to student teaching. Practicums relate course content to real-life settings and situations, deepening your learning. They also give you the opportunities to explore teaching as a profession before you commit to a teaching career and to develop a network of professional contacts. Finally, practicums help the program evaluate your professionalism and potential as a future teacher.
A minimum of 100 hours of practicum experience in school classrooms is normally required prior to student teaching. Due to the lack of practicums in some teacher education courses during the pandemic, the number of hours required prior to student teaching has been adjusted as follows:
- Student Teaching in 2022-23: Minimum of 60 hours required.
- Student Teaching in 2023-24: Minimum of 80 hours required.
You can complete the required hours through your course practicums. You can also add hours during the breaks between terms or in approved summer programs.
Subject Area Tests
Before you may student teach, you must have a GPA of 3.000 or higher in your major or pass a subject area test. All candidates for elementary/middle school (K-9) certification must pass the Praxis II Middle School Content Knowledge test. If you meet the GPA requirement and plan to seek licensure in a state that requires a subject area test (such as Illinois), you have two options:
- Take the test after you have completed Lawrence's program, been certified for licensure, and applied for a Wisconsin license; or
- Take the test before you student teach, indicating Lawrence as the institution to which you want your score sent. If you do this, you must pass the test before you may student teach, even if your major GPA is 3.000 or higher.
Student teaching for elementary/middle school (K-9) certification is a fall school-semester apprenticeship (18 weeks) that includes practice teaching in an Appleton elementary school and methods instruction from master teachers. Student teaching for secondary (4-12) or all-levels (PK-12) certification is a fall or spring school-semester internship (18 weeks) that includes practice teaching at levels appropriate to the certification area. All student teachers attend a weekly student teaching seminar led by Lawrence faculty members.
Lawrence student teachers are expected to be in school for the full school day and to fulfill the duties of a regular classroom teacher. A student teacher co-teaches with the cooperating teacher and should have sole responsibility for no more than half of the teaching on any school day. The student teacher also completes other school duties, attends meetings, communicates with parents, and may contribute to extracurricular activities. Through a mixture of modeling and practice, student teachers learn how to be public school teachers, developing the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their chosen profession.
Every student teacher is supervised by an education or music education faculty member. This university supervisor observes the student teacher four times and meets with the student after each observation to discuss the lesson, to offer advice, and to answer questions. At the midpoint and end of student teaching, the university supervisor and the cooperating teacher each fill out a student teaching evaluation, which they discuss with the student teacher.
During student teaching, each student prepares a teacher performance assessment (edTPA) and submits it for professional scoring. Every student teacher also writes a reflective essay that is due at the end of student teaching; requirements are provided in the student teaching syllabus. These become part of the final teaching portfolio that demonstrates mastery of Lawrence's teacher education program standards.
Student teaching is graded satisfactory or unsatisfactory (S/U). Note that a satisfactory (S) grade in student teaching does not guarantee that a student will be certified for licensure. The student must submit an acceptable portfolio, pass the edTPA, finish any remaining coursework, and satisfy all requirements for licensure.
Pre-Student Teaching Portfolio
Before you may student teach, you must prepare a developmental portfolio for department review. This portfolio will have sample lesson plans and assessments you created in your education courses, a sample teaching video from a practicum, practicum evaluations, and a reflective commentary on your progress toward meeting the program standards. A member of the education faculty will review your portfolio and offer guidance as you begin student teaching.
Final Teaching Portfolio
While student teaching, you prepare a final portfolio demonstrating that you meet Lawrence’s 13 Teacher Education Program Standards. This portfolio will contain your final transcript, teacher performance assessment (edTPA) and score report, student teaching evaluations, and student teaching reflective essay. Your Final Teaching Portfolio must be approved by the certifying officer before you can be certified for licensure. If your portfolio is not approved, you will be asked to revise and resubmit it. Once your portfolio has been approved, you should check with the department's administrative assistant for final steps to obtain a teaching license.
Currently enrolled in the Teacher Education Program?
Find details on practicums, subject area tests, student teaching, and portfolios in the Teacher Certification SharePoint.