The faculty and staff at Blackburn College believe that the teacher candidate’s student teaching experience is the critical phase of the student’s education career. The semester long student teaching experience represents the culmination of all coursework and other requirements and represents full immersion in the learning environment so that candidates are able to demonstrate proficiencies in the professional teaching roles for which they are preparing (NCATE, 2002). Teacher candidates are evaluated during the experience on the basis of knowledge and skill performances as aligned with Illinois State, institutional, and national criterion. Candidate learning is integrated into the student teaching experience by way of daily interactions in the K-12 classroom and weekly during the accompanying seminar course (ED491), which facilitates on-going reflection and sharing of practice.
The student teaching experience is based foundationally upon developed guidelines and longstanding relationships between the department and K-12 schools. The schools and the education unit have mutually agreed upon these guidelines and continually monitor them for effectiveness. A systematic data collection process exists whereby changes can be made after analysis and consultation. The guidelines address issues such as placement procedures, cooperating teacher qualifications, rights and responsibilities of all parties, the structure of the experience, and the nature of evaluation (NCATE, 1996).
The following documents include the Student Teaching Manual that outlines policies and procedures critical to the success of all student teacher candidates, templates for lesson planning, instruments for assessing student teacher performance, and other assessment forms used in the student teaching process.