An article recently published by Springfield News-Leader discusses some potential changes for life after graduation for future educators in Missouri. The Missouri State Board of Education voted to raise the standards of teaching a discipline by setting higher qualifying scores on content assessments. With this new push towards better-qualified teachers, some see this as the time to overhaul the teaching training programs.
In the column, Missouri State’s David L. Hough suggests having a year-long internship in a school instead of student teaching. Training would begin over the summer with interns working with a “Master Teacher” in preparation for the school year. When the school year begins, interns would help their Master Teacher with classroom duties. When the Master Teacher decides their intern is ready, they would begin to co-teach. Schools would each have several interns, and the principal would oversee the program along with the Teacher in Residence and the Director of Interns. The interns would be evaluated by this group at the end of the program.
A program like this helps recent graduates adjust to becoming a teacher instead of throwing them into uncomfortable situations. It would help the interns learn how to prepare for a day of class before ever having to teach a class. After they finish, they will have experience as well as a video that shows them teaching a class.
An article from The Atlantic details the White House’s effort to improve teacher training. Earlier in October, the National Council on Teacher Quality published a report criticizing the educational major as being too easy. The White House released draft regulations of changes to the system that could result in a loss of funding to universities if their graduates don’t perform well enough on the job. The American Federation of Teachers said these new regulations would rely on too many “high-stakes tests”. Teachers that are placed in classrooms with high-need students may not have as high-test scores as others, resulting in a loss of funding.