Requiring a full year of student teaching is a popular — and bad — idea, writes Kate Walsh in Teacher Quality Bulletin.
Student teachers learn in the classrooms of high-quality teachers who are skilled mentors and willing to take on the responsibility, she writes. There aren’t enough qualified, willing teachers now to cover a semester’s worth of student teaching. As a result, “many student teachers don’t get the high quality experience they need. Double the length and the quality deficit is irremediable.”
Student teachers should learn and practice good instructional strategies before they’re placed in front of children, argues Walsh. “Some teacher prep programs, both traditional and non-traditional, are ramping up just such practice opportunities using video, virtual classrooms, role playing or simulations.”