The student teaching program is outlined in the Student Teaching Handbook. It is the culmination of the teacher licensure program at Carleton College. Placement generally occurs during the spring of the student’s senior year for the following fall.
The central focus of the 14-week term is learning to apply the licensure candidate’s skills, instincts, and philosophy to an actual teaching experience in area public or private schools. Student teachers will have primary responsibility for no fewer than three or more than four classes. If possible, the number of different course preparations should be limited to two. Student teachers are expected to keep the hours of a regular teacher—that is, for the entire school day.
Officially, the last day of student teaching is the last day of 14 continuous weeks of student teaching, usually late-November. Individual cooperating teachers may negotiate with the student teacher if completion of the school term is desired. Student teaching placements are made in consultation with students and are based on a variety of considerations:
- Suitability of the mentor teacher
- Type of school: rural, suburban, urban
- Grade level(s)
- Specific course content and teaching load
In some instances, students choose to live in the area in which they are teaching. Each student teacher is assigned to a college supervisor (usually the methods teacher) who observes the student’s teaching on a weekly basis and guides him or her through student teaching. If the supervisor does not specialize in the student’s content area, the student is assigned an additional instructor to observe three student teaching sessions.
Licensure candidates who student teach during the fall 13th Term also benefit from the weekly seminar experience. This seminar gives the cohort of student teachers the opportunity to meet with one another, share successes and concerns, and address a series of professional topics.
When programs are complete and students are ready to apply for a Minnesota teaching license, the chair of the Educational Studies department submits the application materials and recommends candidates to the director of licensing at St. Olaf College. The director approves all of the paperwork and submits the licensing application to the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. Appropriate forms and instructions are distributed near the end of the seminar.
See the Resources pages for additional information.