red Supported Site University of Minnesota: Early Teaching Experience

Successes

  • The TIR has created early teaching experiences for 3 LAs, which consists of observations in local public schools and practice teaching in both the physics methods course and at a nearby after-school program. This allows them to begin completion of the 100 hours required for acceptance to the University of Minnesota CEHD licensure program.
  • Two students worked as TAs in the Physics and Everyday Thinking course.
  • A number of students worked with the high school physics students participating in the 'College-In-the-Schools' physics classes. They helped on the two field trips to the University of Minnesota by doing and explaining demonstrations and by assisting in the labs the visiting students did.
  • Two female Learning Assitants participated in a small demonstration show for fourth grade girls.

Challenges

  • Many students have transportation limitations and this limits the pool of teachers with whom they can be placed
  • Establishing regular communication with students who are in classrooms, both those who are student teaching and those who are doing the volunteering required for admission to the licensure program, continues to be an ongoing challenge.

Sustainability/Institutional Buy-In

  • We are absolutely committed to continuing this level of field experiences. We continue to recruit potential mentor teachers, via word of mouth, the TAG, and QuarkNet, to maintain the appropriate number of potential classrooms.
  • We are working with CEHD to maximize these experiences for these students.

Lessons Learned

  • Providing students with the opportunity to observe/volunteer in a high school physics classroom is an important aspect of their decision to pursue teaching as a career choice.
  • Allowing students to interact with others that are also spending time in classrooms helps them connect with and establish a peer group of like-minded individuals.

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Activity Summary

  • Students are placed in high school physics classrooms to observe/volunteer when possible.
  • Students participate in the on-caumpus College-in-the-Schools activities.
  • Three former LAs have applied to the post-baccalaureate licensure program at UM for a summer, 2010 start.