JBC: 12) How did your initial teacher training prepare you? What would you like Teacher Ed programs to provide now?
I LOOOOOVED my teacher training. I went to Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. SEMO started life as a teacher’s college and has continued to be a leader in teacher education. I spent time in classrooms not only observing but teaching lessons almost every semester BEFORE student teaching. My last semester before student teaching I was in Block III, we spent one full day and one half day in the classroom every week, we also completed a one week time in class and then a two week span. I really felt prepared to move into student teaching. The next semester I heard the plan for Block III was that the college students in the class would all observe/teach in the same school. There would be a classroom set aside for them in that school where they would have all of their education classes, the professors would come to them, this way anytime they weren’t in class themselves they could be in the classroom with students. Not sure if this ever happened but I think it was a wonderful idea. Education majors need to see every day in a classroom: first day of school, days right before break, party days, last days of school, everything in between. I think student teaching needs to be more than a semester as well. I completed 8 weeks in second grade and 6 weeks in kindergarten. That was the only part of my training I didn’t really like, just as I got comfortable teaching my second graders it was time to leave. I think it should be a year long process which would allow for two semester long experiences as I know some people need more than one experience for their certification.