Field experiences are part of every accredited teacher preparation program. These seven tips will help students get the most out of the experience.
How prepared are you for the process of becoming a teacher? You have likely developed good study habits that got you to college. These are a great foundation to help you do well in a teacher preparation program. But how prepared are you for an equally important component of educator preparation programs — field experiences? Field experiences, also referred to as practicums or clinical experiences, are part of every accredited teacher preparation program. These pre-student teaching experiences place you in a preK-12 classroom where you have the opportunity not just to observe, but also to learn about teaching by interacting with teachers and students.
Up until this point, you have experienced teaching and learning through the lens of a student. From this viewpoint, good teachers make teaching look easy. Your field experiences will provide an opportunity for you to experience teaching and learning from the perspective of a teacher. Seeing and experiencing teaching from this angle will help you confirm that you have chosen a major that is right for you.
Not only do field experiences build confidence regarding your choice of career, they also provide a great opportunity to increase your confidence as you develop your teaching skills. There is nothing like real world opportunities to practice and apply all that you have learned about in your college classes. Concepts like lesson planning, teaching strategies, assessment, and classroom management come alive in preK-12 classrooms and give life to the pages from your textbooks.
The following tips will help you maximize — and thrive in — your field experience requirements and take full advantage of these opportunities.
Schaffer, C., & Welsh, K. (2014). How to Thrive During Your Field Experiences. Educational Horizons, 93(1), 6–7. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013175X14551696