Elementary Education Teacher Preparation - Teacher Education

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Elementary Education Teacher Preperation
Elementary Education Teacher Preparation
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Teacher Certification
  • What is teacher certification?
  • I want to get my teaching certificate at Michigan State University but I might want to teach in a different state. How do I go about preparing for that?
  • I have a bachelor's degree and now I want to teach. Now what?
  • Certification Endorsements
  • Can I be certified in both secondary and elementary education?
  • What special education endorsements are available at Michigan State University?
  • Coursework
  • Where are the methods courses?
  • When do we get experience in classrooms?
  • Internship Questions
  • When will I know my internship placement?
  • When does the internship begin and end?
  • Can I make my own arrangements for an intern placement (or any other placement)?
  • What is the weekly schedule like during the internship year?
  • Can I plan to work in the evening during the internship?

Teacher Certification

What is teacher certification?

Elementary and secondary teachers must be certified by the state in which they teach. Requirements for teacher certification in Michigan include successful completion of a bachelors degree, passing state certification tests (basic skills and subject-specific knowledge), student teaching (internship year), and meeting the technology requirement. Programs in the College of Education are designed to prepare students to meet certification requirements.

I want to get my teaching certificate at Michigan State University but I might want to teach in a different state. How do I go about preparing for that?

The teacher preparation program at Michigan State University is set up to prepare students to qualify for a Michigan teaching certificate. However, the State Department of Education in Michigan currently has "reciprocity agreements" with about 40 other states in the country. Therefore, by meeting the requirements through Michigan State University for a Michigan teaching certificate, candidates would qualify for a teaching certificate in most other states. Teaching candidates who wish to teach in other states should contact the state department of education in those states to learn about application procedures and timetables and testing requirements.

I have a bachelor's degree and now I want to teach. Now what?

The Post-Bachelor Certification Program is designed for people with a bachelor's degree who wish to earn their teaching certificate. This program requires a minimum commitment of 24 months in a full-time student status to complete the Teacher Certification Program. During their course of study, students receive instruction from nationally renowned faculty and classroom experiences with outstanding K-12 teachers, resulting in preparation to meet the challenges of the teaching profession.

Specific program requirements depend upon academic history and certification sought. Persons interested in the Post-Bachelors Certification Program should consult an advisor in the College of Education Office of Student Affairs.

Certification Endorsements

Can I be certified in both secondary and elementary education?

There are some teaching majors that are already approved as having K-12 certification. At Michigan State University these teaching majors are: Art, Music, Physical Education, and Audiology and Speech. Though these majors can teach K - 12 for the teaching major they are put on a secondary certificate and for the teaching minor can teach only 6-12.

Students in other majors cannot earn elementary and secondary certification at the same time. The emphasis in the TE 400 level classes is quite different for elementary and secondary. Also, the internship year has a specific emphasis either on general elementary education or on a secondary subject taught in the grades 6 - 12.

Elementary students in TE 401 and 402 learn elementary education subject-specific methods and teaching strategies (covering language arts, math, social studies, and science) as well as elementary-oriented background for teaching literacy/reading skills.

It is possible, after earning a teaching certificate at either elementary or secondary level, to add the other level as an "additional endorsement" onto the certificate. This requires a minimum of 18 credits in a planned program approved by the Associate Dean. In most cases the additional endorsement (for example, adding a general elementary endorsement to a secondary certificate) will require the candidate to student teach an additional semester at the new grade level.

What special education endorsements are available at Michigan State University?

The College of Education offers special education endorsements in the following areas:
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Deaf Education
More information is available at the Counseling, Educational Policy, and Special Education website.

Coursework

Where are the methods courses?

All of the TE courses from 301 through 804 are designed to contribute to wise action as a teacher. TE 301 addresses classrooms as productive learning environments, literacy teaching and learning, motivating students to learn, and lesson planning. TE 401 addresses the teaching and learning in science and social studies. TE 402 addresses the teaching and learning in math and literacy. Both TE 401 and 402 are 5 credit courses which meet twice a week and have a field component structured into the course. TE 801-804 courses build on those introductions in the internship year, when you also will have extensive practice teaching.

When do we get experience in classrooms?

If you take TE 301 during the academic year when schools are in session, you will spend about two hours per week in schools; that will increase to four hours per week in TE 401 and 402. School placements are closely linked to the course work and generally include observation, interviewing students, assisting the teacher to conduct the class, and (in TE 401 and 402) planning and teaching lessons. Your responsibilities should increase again in the fall of the internship year, but gradually, so as to prepare you to take the lead in the classroom during the spring.

Internships

When will I know my internship placement?

Our goal (not a guarantee) is that every teacher candidate will know his or her internship placement by the end of TE 402. We usually achieve that goal for most teacher candidates. During TE 401, we ask your preferences regarding the internship, but do not guarantee they will be satisfied. You also will be asked to provide a resume to be given to teachers with whom you might be placed.

When does the internship begin and end?

In general (there are some exceptions involving schools with unusual calendars), you will report to school on the first day that your mentor teacher reports, and will follow the school 's calendar for holidays and winter and spring breaks. You will finish your internship on MSU's calendar; you can plan to be done by the end of finals week.

Can I make my own arrangements for an intern placement (or any other placement)?

No, but for good reasons, the Elementary Teacher Preparation Program works with particular schools in particular districts and we coordinate coursework and field experiences closely with teachers in those schools. If there are special circumstances you would like to discuss about a placement, talk to your Elementary Team Coordinator.

What is the weekly schedule like during the internship year?

You should keep every weekday until 5:00 p.m. available for program-related activities. You will need to meet with your mentor teacher after school, attend faculty meetings, attend a guided practice seminar in your school and attend university classes. You will also need to have time to plan and prepare lessons, grade papers, etc.

Can I plan to work in the evening during the internship?

Many interns do need to work during the internship year but it is recommended that you work no more than ten hours per week. If a heavier work schedule is necessary for you, talk it over with your cluster leader.