EdEl 185  Spring 2003
Student Teaching Internship
"Strategically Teaching In Diverse Communities of Learners"
Orchard School, S. Burlington
C. Rathbone, UVM Student Teaching Supervisor


Work Phone 656-4578      Home Phone ___________

The student teaching internship experience is the most significant practicum in the elementary  teacher education program.  The practicum comes after major methods/practica work in literacy and inquiry and offers the opportunity to deepen professional expertise and make a positive difference in the lives of learners through intensive applied school centered work.  Student teaching is also the place for you to develop an informed point of view over time about instructional decisions that create learning and achievement for every child.  In this regard, EdEl 185 is a kind of practicum for EdEl 188, the classroom management and organization course you take as a part of your student teaching experience.

The Players

The Mentor Teacher.  The Mentor Teacher serves as the central figure in communicating practical expertise to the student intern.  This is done by being simultaneously a model of professional expertise and a critidal friend.  The Mentor Teacher, more than anyone else, has the responsibility of facilitating the movement of the intern's instructional ideas to the reality of informed, reflective, effective classroom practice.

The Student Teaching Supervisor.  The UVM Supervisor is the "voice of the program" in the internship experience.  The primary role of the supervisor is to provide sustained and informed feedback to the intern and Mentor Teacher relative to program, state, and national requirements.  The Supervisor ensures the internship is assessed continuously and that all parties of the internship our kept current with the intern's progress relative to program expectations.

The Student Intern.  The intern's role is to approach the internship with as much positive energy, professional honest, and will to succeed as possible.  Riding the growth curve of this highly focused experience isoften a risk-taking adventure.  Much of your early internship time will be spent in your own zone of proximal development.  You must look to your mentors for assistance while simultaneously pushing the envelope of what you know you are capable of doing.  As time goes on, what is strange will become more familiar as  you recognize and identify specific areas of expertise.  Key to your success is your ability to have honest, ongoing conversations with your Mentor and Supervisor.  A second equally important key is to be a planner like you've never been a planner before.  Review what's required of you - the expectations - and make a plan early in the semester to serve as your guide for accomplishing your expectations.  Being able to see the parts and whole of the internship picture simutaneously will be valuable for you as you plan what you are going to do week to week. 

The Assignments

1.  Be a Professional.  A significant part of the intership experience is developing your professional persona.  This involves, among other things, appropriate dress and a responsible professional demeanor.  Dirty and frayed clothing, bare skin, exposed underwear, low cut tops are not okay in school settings.  Being a professional also involves open communication with your mentor and supervisor.  You have to take the lead in establishing this professional dialogue.  Finally, while it may seem self evident, it is important to stay healthy.  You will change your sleep habits from that of a UVM student to that of a working professional.  If you are sick, heal.  Don't expose your young charges or your mentor teacher to infectious colds or worse.

2. Complete the Internship Plan (Handbook).  The experience plan asks you to get the "big picture" of the internship by the end of its third week.  The purpose of the plan is to make sure you and your Mentor have thought through all the experiences you want to have during the internship.  In addition to the suggested entries in the Handbook, review program and state expectations and and target dates for those on the experience plan.

3. Arrange for Formal Visitations.  You will be observed at least eight times formally over the course of the semester.  A formal visit is defined as a pre-arranged observation where you provide the supervisor with a plan of what you are going to teach and the supervisor provides you with a written commentary relative to his observation of your teaching.  It is useful to review the lesson one-on-one with the supervisor after the lesson's conclusion.  Even fifteen minutes to sit and talk is a good amount of time.  A calendar is posted in the copy room showing the Supervisor's availability for observation.  Your supervisor plans to be in the building on Tuesdays, Thursday mornings, and Fridays.  It is your responsibility to schedule these observations.  Of course there will be informal contacts with your supervisor many times over the course of the semester.

4. Attend and participate in Quarterly Assessment Conferences.  Three way conferences will be held three times over the course of the semester to assess your progress.  Using forms provided in the Handbook, your role is to engage in self-assessment prior to each Quarterly Conference by completing the assessment forms so you can be part of the conversation.  These conferences are always held to assess progress to date and to plan next steps as the intensity of the experience rises over the semester.

Approx. Date
Hndbk. Pg.
  semester plan 
January 24th
 first quarter
February 14th
March 14th
  third quarter (opt.)
April 11th
May 2nd
28-33,   34,  36 (MT)

5. Watch Yourself Teach.  As part of an observation, schedule your Supervisor to video tape a segment of your teaching at least once during the semester.  Prior to taping, complete a brief free-write on what specifically you are interested in focusing on as you review the tape.  Plan to spend twenty minutes with your supervisor after the taping to review the tape.  Your supervisor will use digital tape so taped segments can by imported into iMovie for your portfolio should you choose to do so.  Tapes cost approximately $7/piece.

6. Student Teaching Notebook.  You must create a maintain a notebook of lesson plans over the course of the semester.  Please have you plans available for your supervisor prior to formal and taped observations.  Pay special attention to the behavioral specificity of your lesson's objectives.  Your objectives should answer the questions: "What does it look like?" and "What Does It Sound Like?" with respect to learning on the part of your children.  New plans do not have to be written for each repetitive experience e.g. and entire Morning Meeting.  Just create a plan for the portion that is new to you.

7. Collection of Portfolio Items.  Familiarize yourself with evidence that will prove useful for your professional portfolio.  EdEl 189 is organized to assist you in the process.  Collect at least two captioned items each week.  Keep these in a folder so you can discuss these with your Supervisor from time to time.

8. Interdisciplinary Unit / Complex Instruction Assignment.  You are required to teach an interdisciplinary unit, taught to you in EdEl 187, as part of your student teaching.  You are required to teach a Complex Instruction Rotation as part of EdEl 188.  Plan early for these major assignments with your Mentor Teacher.  While they will occur in the last half of the semester, they might be combined.  The CI Rotation could be a part of the interdisciplinary unit.  Early planning will definitely create a smooth transition for this requirement, especially with regard to establishing groupwork norms, teaching group process roles, and giving the learners some practice with working collaboratively.  This is an assignment that can't sneak up on you!

9. Attend Student Teacher Seminars.  Your Supervisor will organize several seminars with your group to be held at the school.  Plan to attend thise meetings and bring with you one captioned piece of stsudent work that you find  especially rich in terms of what it shows about the kind of teaching and learning situations that you value.  Your Supervisor will also use this time to work with the group on teaching issues that surface during the course of your internship. 

     January 17th    740am   Orchard Library
      February 18th - Tues.    330pm    TBA
      March  11th - Tues.    330pm    TBA
      April 22nd - Tues.    330pm    TBA

10. Wall Display/Cooperation.  Attached is an idea from Spencer Kagan's version of Cooperative Learning.  It is a teaching device to use with your children as they learn the specifics of working together.  The goal is create a common language shared by all children about effective collaborative learning roles and behaviors.  This will make your groupwork more intentional and give you an opportunity to talk about it with the children in their language.


The University Supervisor and Mentor ateacher will work together on the derivation of a final grade for the Internship.  A preliminary grade will be mentioned during the important mid-semester three way conference.  Ultimately, the final grade is awarded by the Coordinator of the Elementary Education Program upon the recommendation of the University Supervisor.  You should have a clear idea of where you stand by mid-semester on the basis of the performance review conducted with you and your Mentor and Supervisor.  Work with your Supervisor to achieve clarity on the details of performance issues.