practicum experiences & teacher induction
The Lynch School of Education's supervision model consists of a three-way partnership between the University supervisor, student teacher, and cooperating teacher. This triad, supported by the Boston College community, shares a noble mission—the professional growth and development of teachers whose training is rooted in knowledge, guided by reflective practice, and nurtured by effective supervision.
At the pre-practicum level, student teachers are placed in clusters to promote collegial conversation and group meetings with University supervisors – Graduate Assistant Teachers (GAT). Pre-practicum student teachers observe lessons taught by cooperating teachers, complete inquiry journals and compile a teaching portfolio. Undergraduate students may be placed in classrooms together to promote further collaboration and co-teaching. To prepare for this experience, student teachers can download the syllabi connected with either undergraduate or graduate pre-practicum experiences.
GATs are on-site once to twice a week and are responsible for collaborating with student teachers, responding to journals, and completing end-of-the-semester reports including recommendations to continue with fieldwork associated with the pre- or full practicum experience as measured by the professional standards for teaching (i.e., PPA+).
Full Practicum Supervision
The Clinical Faculty are responsible for supervising the full practicum student teaching experience. Each member of the team has knowledge of early childhood, elementary, special education, reading, and/or secondary curriculum as well as extensive K-12 teaching experience. Overall, the Clinical Faculty are experienced with diverse models of instruction, possesses an understanding of inclusion practices and an awareness of current certification standards. The Clinical Faculty actively collaborate with other Teacher Education faculty and teacher leaders in K-12 schools to build “Communities of Learners” among pre- and full practicum student teachers.
A Formative and Summative Approach to Student Teaching
Collectively, the Lynch School strives to support the pre-service teacher in his or her progress along a developmental continuum toward becoming a thoughtful, self-directed professional who can meet the many challenges posed by the schools of today.
The Lynch School uses formative and summative evaluation processes to assess students' practica experiences. Formative supervision is used to foster growth and development in understanding the teaching standards. Through coaching, informal discussions, and responses to inquiry journals, the Clinical Faculty and Graduate Assistant Teachers create relationships to guide the students to a deeper understanding of teaching and learning throughout the experience.
Summative supervision is required at the mid-term and the final using the Pre-service Performance Assessment (PPA+) tool from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. At the mid-term the cooperating teacher and University supervisor review the indicators on the PPA+ and document success in the practicum experience. For the final report, both the cooperating teacher and University supervisor must recommend that students continue with fieldwork associated with either the pre- or full practicum experience or for licensure and endorsement by the Lynch School of Education.