Posted in Elementary Education Preparation

Student Teaching or the Internship

There you are, almost done with the Elementary Education program, and now you must make a decision: to student teach or apply for an internship. My objective is to inform you, future teachers, about what each option has to offer and the unique opportunities they give.

This is me in front of my bare classroom-before I even started to set it up!

Student Teaching:

  • becomes an option when students don’t apply for an internship; students are automatically signed up once their application has been processed by Education Student Services
  • lasts only for a semester
  • provides an opportunity to observe and work with a mentor teacher
  • does not pay
  • gives students practice teaching a class independently while being observed
  • results in Education Student Services placing student teachers in a district

Internship Candidates:

  • attend a district meeting to meet principals and facilitators
  • choose what district in which they want to work
  • attend an interview meeting with all other candidates
  • interview with principals and facilitators from the district they chose. **I’ll write a full post about preparing for a interview in a future post.
  • receive keys to their very own classroom, which they are responsible for setting up after being hired
  • assigned to a grade and a team
  • receive support from a facilitator
  • get paid half-salary and given first year teaching status
  • commit to a year-long requirement

This decision is not always an easy one. For me, the decision process was bumpy. At first I was determined to do student teaching, thinking it would be easier and it would give me the option to follow a different career path if I so chose. However, as I took more classes in the Elementary Education program and my passion for teaching grew, I felt I needed to apply for the internship and face my fear. Being completely honest with myself I realized why I didn’t want to do the internship: I was afraid—afraid of failure, of not being a great teacher, and of stressing out too much and then quitting halfway through the year. After recognizing those fears, I knew I had to conquer them and apply. I did, and to my surprise, I was hired. At first I thought, “Oh no, I really don’t want to do this, but I know it is the right thing to do.” But now that I am preparing my classroom and a curriculum, I realize that this experience will be really hard, but worth it. I’m going to gain so much experience and more confidence about who I am as a teacher and a person.

I hope the unique characteristics and processes I gave out were beneficial. Both are opportunities you must apply for.  If you have any questions about the application process, the Education Student Services in room 120 of the McKay building is there to help. Seek guidance from trusted college professors, friends, parents, and other people who know you, but make sure the final decision is your own.

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