Thirty-five student teachers are taking part in a state pilot program to provide more intensive training as they prepare to become full-time teachers. Department of Education Director Brad Buck says the pilot project is part of the legislature’s 2013 education reform bill. It gives the teachers-in-training from the University of Northern Iowa and Dordt College more time in the schools.
“This is a full year so students really have the experience of starting a school year, having parent teacher conferences, going through the full length of a school year and closing out a school year,” Buck says.
Buck says student teaching assignments are usually shorter, as he says when he went through the program years ago, his student teaching assignment lasted 16 weeks. “I saw what school was like for a portion of the school year but not the whole school year,” Buck explains. “So really, I think the intent of this is, does it robustly prepare them for their first year of teaching to have gone through an experience of a school year from start to finish,” Buck says.
UNI and Dordt College each received about half-a-million dollars to conduct the pilot project.