|Instructor Info:||Sarah Frenette|
In this pre-practicum students spend 3 full school weeks in a K-12 classroom, observing and assisting a cooperating teacher. For many, this pre-practicum is a way to imagine the work of a teacher and decide whether teaching is a profession they wish to pursue. For others, it is an opportunity to hone their skills. Students observe, help out with small groups, or lead lessons, as negotiated with their cooperating teachers. In addition to this intensive classroom experience, there are assigned readings on classroom management and special education law, plus students keep a reflective journal, complete structured observations, attend a weekly seminar to discuss the craft of teaching, and write a final reflective paper. Students submit a final portfolio at the end of the January Term experience. Students are supervised directly in the school setting by their cooperating teacher.
Some students pursue the course as part of a teacher preparation and licensure program; other students elect the course as a means to more general career exploration in the field of education. Student that pursue this course as part of their licensure program are placed in inclusive public school classrooms. Inclusive classrooms are those in which students with differences (linguistic, learning, etc) are being taught alongside students with typical needs. Placements are located within the Five College area. In addition to the field experience component, students attend three course meetings during the month of January. Reading and writing assignments focus on descriptions of special education programs, understanding IDEA policies and placement options, interpreting IEP plans, observing/planning curriculum for inclusive classrooms, and classroom management.
At the end of the three-week placement we request that the cooperating teacher fill out and return a brief evaluation form for the purposes of describing and evaluating the student's work. We also ask that she/he sign a “Document of Hours” form.
Prior work in education required. Registration is by instructor permission only.
Course requirements consist of the following: writing assignments, reading assignments, completion of observation forms, attendance at the field site five days a week for a three-week period, active participation at 3 course meetings during January, submission of “Documentation of Hours” form signed by your supervising teacher and a self-evaluation.
Each of these course requirements will be discussed in detail during the course meetings and all materials will be available on the course website. A final portfolio of your work is due on January 21st. Please drop your portfolio off at the CS office no later than 9:00 a.m. No exceptions will be made. A complete list of portfolio contents will be located on the course website.
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