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How many student teaching jobs do you need to take on when you possibly want to become a elementary teacher in college?


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Alison’s Answer

Hi Abby,
Teaching is such an important profession! Good for you for pursuing it! When you major in education, most colleges have student teaching built into their programs. So, for most people, you won’t have to search for a student teaching job, it will replace your classes for a semester. Or, it might be completed in addition to a lighter class load. I went to college in New York, and my program included one practicum and two student teaching placements. So, during one of our school breaks, I completed my practicum - 10 days of observing and co-teaching at a local school. Then, during my last college semester, I completed my two student teaching placements - half of the semester at one local school, and half of the semester at another, with different grade levels.

In addition, my college always let us know when volunteer opportunities came up at nearby schools too. These were not a required part of the course, but I definitely recommend getting involved with them as much as you can. Volunteering gives you extra time to practice the classroom skills you’ll learn while you’re getting your education degree, and it can be a HUGE help to the local school. Finding summer jobs in places like summer camps can also be good practice.

Good luck in your future career!

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Nicole’s Answer

This will vary by the University you choose to attend. Most universities require at least one semester of student teaching on a full time basis in a classroom. By full time it means you are there at the start of the school day to the end of the school day nearly 5 days a week. The University I attended required 2 semesters of classroom experience, one as I described above on a full time basis and one semester that was part time and the student teacher's role was more of a classroom assistant experience working with small groups of students and assisting the teacher in the classroom. I have heard of other Universities opting to have the student teacher in the same classroom for 2 semesters or the entire school year. If you choose to go into a specialized area of study such as Special Education you may be required to do additional student teaching. For special education, I did one semester pre-teaching on a part time basis and 3 semesters of student teaching on a full time basis. 1 semester was for elementary education, 1 semester for one of my special education endorsement areas and another semester for my second special education endorsement area.

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