The Student Intern's Role
Starting the first week or two of the spring semester, seniors enrolled in EDUC311: Fieldwork Seminar spend five hours per week at their placement for at least ten weeks. The details of the activities at the site must be deliberately planned and clearly laid out in collaboration with the field mentor at the site (students, with their mentors, prepare a Field Agreement that describes their learning and participation objectives). During initial conversations with their Field Mentors, students should discuss the role they will play and ensure that their plan for participation at the site is workable, realistic, and helpful both to themselves and to those working at the site.
Students complete a mid-course and final self-evaluation that serves as the basis for a mid-course and final evaluation conference with the field mentor.
The Field Mentor's Role
Field mentors, the site-based professionals who work closely with the education students at their placements, play an extremely important role in the educative experience of the student; it is in part the relationship that students develop with their mentors that will determine the quality and benefits of the placement. Responsibilities of the field mentor include:
- Hosting students in classrooms five hours per week for at least ten weeks. The amount of interaction students will be permitted in classes needs to be negotiated with the mentor as part of the initial conversations as well as on an on-going basis throughout the year.
- Holding regular conferences with the student to discuss issues, opportunities for learning, and any concerns. These conferences can be as short as fifteen minutes (integrated into the time the student spends at the site) and can be arranged in whatever way best suits the teacher’s busy schedule.
- Completing a mid-course and final evaluation form and participating in a mid-course and final evaluation conference with the student intern.
Getting Involved: Some Ideas from Past Placements
Student interns and their mentors negotiate how interns are involved in the class or program in hands-on ways that make sense for the intern and the mentor and site. We list below some examples of activities past interns have been involved with.
- Co-leading with other interns group activities in an after school program
- Co-teaching a class (teacher splits class in half – teacher teaches new lesson, bi-co student teaches the same thing? Something different? Reviews other work?)
- Conducting surveys
- Conversing with mentor about teaching, students, the subject matter or curriculum, and about teaching as a career
- Creating or posting bulletin board displays, putting related material on blackboard or overhead for teacher, helping students create classroom displays or other visuals
- Creating reading lists; writing summaries of books to help mentor or students make choices
- Grading quizzes and tests
- Guiding students who are making up missed work (re-teaching it individually to them)
- Helping choose places for field trips, then planning for, and accompanying the class on, the trip
- Helping students create games
- Leading in-class or after-school homework help groups or test prep sessions
- Mentoring students who are developing senior projects or other projects, such as for National History Day
- Observing/actively listening
- Offering technology integration support to mentor
- Organizing a book club that meets once each week; leading discussion among students about the shared texts
- Planning a workshop (inviting guest presenters, ordering food, developing PowerPoint presentation, sending announcements, keeping track of attendees)
- Planning and teaching whole lessons or mini-lessons with the help of the host teacher
- Preparing practice quizzes or tests with answer keys
- Researching items the teacher plans to incorporate into future lessons. Read ahead for the next unit and think of ways to incorporate materials into class
- Tutoring individual students or small groups
- Updating or developing web pages or adding to Teacher Web Page