Suggested Timeline for Students
The timeline below should be viewed as a general model. Student teachers have different levels of readiness and timelines also vary due to grade level and subject matter. This model is based upon a one semester internship experience. It can be modified to fit a model of more or less duration. For the second semester of year-long internships this timeline should be accelerated and interns should assume a longer period of full responsibility for classroom planning and instruction.
During the first few weeks, the intern should be actively observing their mentor teacher. They should begin right away helping the classroom teacher with day to day activities. Under the direction of the mentor teacher, they may work individually or with small groups of students, help grade papers, assist with duties like taking attendance, etc. This is a time when the intern should be looking for ways to be helpful to the classroom teacher while getting familiar with the students, materials, and expectations.
During the next month (weeks 3-6), the intern should begin to take on more teaching responsibilities under the supervision of the mentor teacher. They can start presenting group lessons, taking on responsibilities for planning, evaluating student performance, communicating with others involved in the students’ education, working daily to get feedback on performance from the mentor teacher, and generally becoming more comfortable with their roles and responsibilities in the classroom. This is an ideal time to plan collaboratively and team teach. At the elementary level interns can begin teaching some subjects. On the secondary level, they may observe the mentor teach and then try to replicate that lesson later in the day. The mentor should continue to serve as a model while encouraging the student teacher to become more independent. The mentor teacher is usually present in the classroom during this time.
During the middle part of the internship (weeks 6-12), as student teachers develop skills and confidence, they should continue to take on more duties under the direction and feedback of the mentor teacher. During this time they should have primary responsibility of planning, teaching, and evaluation of students. The length of time the intern will be the lead teacher will depend on their readiness and the judgment of the mentor teacher. The College of Education recommends a minimum of three weeks of full time solo planning and teaching responsibilities. The mentor teacher can be in and out of the classroom during this time. They should drop in periodically even when the intern is the lead teacher to continue to give feedback.
During the last month of the internship (weeks 12-16), there should be a gradual transition of responsibilities from the student teacher back to the mentor. The student is expected to stay involved with classroom activities until the last day of the internship. Assisting the classroom teacher as needed is an important focus at this time. It is highly recommended that the mentor teacher or university supervisor arrange for the intern to observe other classrooms at various grade levels during this time, but the intern’s responsibilities remain with the assigned teacher.