Success in the field experience depends on the student teacher’s ability to be proactive and engaged in meeting the expectations and requirements of the field experience program, as well as developing healthy, positive and professional relationships with all participants. This section examines the student teacher’s requirements, roles and responsibilities in ensuring a successful personal and professional field experience.
In learning, you will teach, and in teaching, you will learn.
Abrams (2018) notes the following qualities of millennial teachers (born between 1980 and 2000):
Overall, “school systems should want to support and leverage new teachers’ interests in social justice, professional growth and meaningful employment” (p 78).
The above information is shared with permission from Abrams (2018).
Abrams, J. 2018. “What Matters to Millennial Teachers? A Guide to Inspiring, Supporting, and Retaining the Newest Generation of Educators.” Educational Leadership 75, no 8 (May): 74–78.
Friesen (2018) asks, “What does a [student teacher] need to know, do, and be in a diverse, inclusive, and equitable society where the demands to create highly educated youth are at the top of everyone’s agenda?”
In her discussion, she states that student teachers
need to know how to create the conditions within which rich powerful learning emerges, flourishes, strengthens, and deepens. They need to know how to adapt their teaching in response to learning. They need to understand that learning occurs in formal and informal environments and settings. Teachers who know how to learn, are inspired to continue learning, and collaborate with each other, know that learning individually and collectively is essential in today’s world.
Friesen, S. 2018. “A Future Wanting to Emerge: Challenging Assumptions About Teacher Education.” Well at Work, September 18. www.edcan.ca/articles/a-future-wanting-to-emerge/.
The following is adapted with permission from Khoshnevisan (2017).
Preservice teachers step into the process with uncertainty because of their lack of prior experience. Every assignment is a challenge during this stage. Arguably, this stage starts from the beginning of their enrolment in the course and may or may not continue toward the end of the process.
Recognition begins with the first field experience. As soon as preservice teachers are encountered with a physical classroom, they understand the hardships of class management. Observing different classrooms and recognizing different techniques they have already studied, preservice teachers enter into the next stage, called recognition.
Preservice teachers explore new techniques and teaching strategies, enriching their repository of techniques to employ in their future teaching profession. The novelty of techniques may appear perplexing at first. Later, preservice teachers learn to absorb new techniques in action rather than solely learning them from books.
Preservice teachers seem to be ready to start teaching. Later, during their field experience sessions or practicum, preservice teachers find the opportunity to practise what they have already learned. This is the first practical stage and includes all the former stages combined. It is highly recommended that preservice teachers be given an opportunity to teach so that they can not only gain hands-on experience but also start this stage long before they become inservice teachers.
The output of this process is confidence. At this stage, teachers have successfully constructed their teacher identity. They may not be master teachers, and it is not to say that they will not face hardships in their career. However, they are confident in their profession, and they accept hardships while moving toward mastery and competency.
Because of the nonlinear, multilayer developmental nature of these stages of preservice teacher development, student teachers can activate a layer at any stage to accommodate their needs. Their progress throughout the stages is not necessarily linear.
Khoshnevisan, B. 2017. “Developmental Stages of Preservice Teachers: A Critical Analysis.” TEIS News (September). http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolteis/issues/2017-09-25/2.html.