Teaching Internship

General Information

Description of the Teaching Internship

Teaching internship, which is the culminating field experience of the teacher education program, requires each teacher intern to work full time for an entire semester in a placement with one classroom mentor teacher or full time for an entire semester in two placements with different age groups and classroom mentor teachers. During this time, the teacher intern observes, assists, and gradually assumes full responsibility for classroom instruction under the direction of the classroom mentor teacher and university supervisor.

Teaching internship, which is considered to be one the most important phases of the teacher intern's professional preparation program, requires the teacher intern to apply and test the principles, theories, and methods learned in the teacher education program. Teaching internship allows the teacher intern to experience the many facets of a professional educator's role and gain a deeper understanding of teaching, students, and schools.

InTASC Core Teaching Standards

The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) task force, which was established under the umbrella of the Council of Chief State School Officers to strengthen the teaching profession, began its work by articulating standards for a common core of teaching knowledge and skills that should be acquired by all new teachers. The ten InTASC standards that resulted from the task force's work set forth the required knowledge, dispositions, and performance skills for beginning teachers. These national standards have been adopted by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for use in pre-service teacher education programs.

The InTASC task force based these standards on a number of beliefs: for example, all children have the potential to learn rigorous content and achieve high standards; our educational system must guarantee a learning environment in which all children can learn and achieve their own kind of individually configured excellence; and the standards and opportunities should enable teachers to support the intellectual, social, emotional, moral and physical development of students, respond with flexibility and professional judgment to their different needs, and actively engage them in their own learning so that they can use and generate knowledge in effective and powerful ways.  Teaching and learning comprise a holistic process that connects ideas and disciplines to each other and to the personal experiences, environments, and communities of students.  Consequently, the process of teaching must be dynamic and reciprocal, responding to the many contexts in which students learn.

The InTASC standards are also based on the belief that professional teachers assume roles that extend beyond the classroom and include responsibilities for connecting to parents and other professionals, developing the school as a learning organization, and using community resources to foster the education and welfare of students. The InTASC Standards are included below.

InTASC Core Teaching Standards

Standard # 1: Learner Development – The teacher understands how children learn and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard # 2: Learning Differences – The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that allow each learner to reach his/her full potential.

Standard # 3: Learning Environments – The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, encouraging positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Standard # 4: Content Knowledge – The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners.

Standard # 5: Innovative Applications of Content – The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical/creative thinking and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard # 6: Assessment – The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to document learner progress, and to inform the teacher’s ongoing planning and instruction.

Standard # 7: Planning for Instruction – The teacher draws upon knowledge of content areas, cross disciplinary skills, learners, the community, and pedagogy to plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals.

Standard # 8: Instructional Strategies – The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to access and appropriately apply information.

Standard # 9: Reflection and Continuous Growth – The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, families, and other professionals in the learning community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard # 10: Collaboration – The teacher collaborates with students, families, colleagues, other professionals, and community members to share responsibility for student growth and development, learning, and well-being.

Objectives for the Teaching Internship

  1. Assess personal/social suitability for teaching and evaluate choice of major/concentration and grade-level interest.
  2. Experience all roles of a professional teacher (instructional and non-instructional) through planned, sequenced activities in a 16-week program.
  3. Apply principles and methods from the knowledge base of the professional program.
  4. Use technology in communication, lesson planning, and instruction.
  5. Gain experience working with special needs students.
  6. Experiment with alternative strategies to increase student learning.
  7. Gain experience working with students from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  8. Observe and practice classroom management strategies.
  9. Communicate about and discuss all phases of experience with both the classroom mentor teacher and the university supervisor.
  10. Receive feedback from structured observations, including conferencing and suggestions for improvement, from the classroom mentor teacher and university supervisor.
  11. Practice the skills identified in the Teacher Intern Assessment Instrument.
  12. Gain knowledge of classroom and school practices and policies.
  13. Gain knowledge of parent involvement activities and practices.
  14. Become a professional teacher through self-evaluation, problem solving, and reflection about teaching and learning.

The Teacher Intern Assessment Instrument (TIAI), an assessment of the teacher intern’s performance, is based on ten standards developed by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC). The classroom mentor teacher and university supervisor share responsibility for assessment of the teacher intern. The classroom mentor teacher’s role is critical to the performance assessment of the teacher intern.

The TIAI indicators are incorporated into five domains: 1) Planning and Preparation, 2) Assessment, 3) Instruction, 4) Learning Environment, and 5) Professional Responsibilities.

The TIAI consists of 25 indicators with individualized rubrics for each indicator. Each rubric includes the following four levels: Unacceptable, Needs Improvement, Meets Standard, and Exceeds Standard. Items rated at the "Meets Standard" level represent successful teaching practice by the teacher candidate. Anything below "Meets Standard" can be seen as an area in need of improvement. Each indicator on the TIAI will be assessed and scored using the rubric for that indicator.

Some indicators from the TIAI may be assessed through a review of lesson plans and others through discussion/conferencing with the teacher intern.

Following each TIAI assessment, the evaluator (classroom mentor teacher or university supervisor) should conference with the teacher intern to review the results of the assessment.

The formative and summative observation scores and comments must be entered in Watermark. The scores from the formative assessments will not count towards the intern’s grade. The formative observation should be used to provide on-going feedback to the teacher intern and to inform them of their strengths and weaknesses as an educator. The scores from the summative assessments, along with points from additional assignments, will be used in calculating the teacher intern's final grade.

Forms Teacher Intern Resources Licensure Exams

Teacher education majors are required by the College of Education to take the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching and the Specialty Area tests prior to admission to Phase III--teaching internship. Elementary Education teacher candidates must also take the Foundations of Reading exam. Passing scores on all licensure tests are required by the Mississippi Department of Education for a teacher's license.

Study materials and registration information can be found by following the links, below. Note: Foundations of Reading link is only applicable to Elementary Education candidates.

When registering online, make sure you indicate the Mississippi State University Starkville recipient code (R1480) OR Meridian recipient code (R3336), and Mississippi Department of Education recipient code (7599). You will need to keep your original score report in a safe place because it will be needed for licensure. Copies of individual score reports are not available through the College of Education.

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