This year I have my first “student teacher.” While I have had multiple semester interns in the past for various courses, this is my first real peek into the total experience of a student intern today.
Today, I was catching up on my Google feeds and reading Karl Fisch’s post about Online Student Teaching. I’ll start by saying that I agree with his ideas about affording our teachers the opportunity to be properly trained in facilitating on-line courses. But, I am an elementary educator. We don’t deal as much in the realm of online courses. We deal in the classroom. What are the teacher prep programs doing to prepare our future teachers to teach in the 21st century?
My intern has spent one day per week in my classroom this semester. She constantly comments about her amazement over the technology that we are using in the classroom. She hadn’t heard about using blogs or wikis or podcasts in her classroom. She has a professor who is currently in Hawaii who uses Skype… for instant messaging. When she makes SMART Board lessons for my class, she has to print them out for her supervisors because they don’t know how to view them digitally.
How are we going to make a digital shift when the professionals entering our field aren’t prepared? Why aren’t our future teachers, who are so proficient in using social networking and technological tools, applying this knowledge to their views of their future classrooms?
I am fortunate because my intern’s budding enthusiasm to learn, absorb and apply is encouraging. When she leaves my classroom next May, I hope she will stay linked to the network she is creating. But what about the others? Are they prepared for today, tomorrow or yesterday?
Is this a local problem? Is this something that others are encountering?