An underlying philosophy of the GeauxTeach program is that with extensive, individualized, and ongoing coaching, preservice teachers’ skills will improve at an accelerated rate. The GeauxTeach Student Teaching program is an important part of this coaching. In addition to the mentoring provided by the classroom teacher to which the apprentice teachers are assigned, trained observers with considerable teaching experience observe and provide extensive feedback. Because apprentice teachers have taught at various levels in previous GeauxTeach courses, they assume teaching responsibilities quickly in their final semester as a student. Student teachers concentrate on teaching lessons each week in which they demonstrate competency of the particular state standards.
The purpose of Student Teaching is to offer GeauxTeach students a culminating experience that provides them with the tools needed for their first teaching jobs. Students are immersed in the expectations, processes, and rewards of teaching. When making placements, each student teacher’s characteristics and abilities as well as the cooperating teacher’s teaching and mentoring styles are taken into consideration. The hope is that the complementary strengths of the GeauxTeach student teacher and cooperating teacher will generate a synergism that benefits both people professionally.
Student Teaching reinforces and augments teaching strategies that students have developed through their coursework and field experiences. The program also attempts to fill in any gaps in students’ professional development. In particular, Student Teaching focuses on classroom management and time management strategies, parent/teacher communication strategies, school culture and school dynamics that make up an effective middle school and high school system, legal and logistical issues in teaching, the final portfolio, and state certification examinations.
GeauxTeach student teachers explore professional development opportunities beyond the classroom, including attending conferences, subscribing to education journals, joining professional organizations, and conducting presentations in educational settings. The goal of Student Teaching is to provide the experiences, information, and coaching that will enable these students to be successful teachers who are leaders in their schools and communities.