My undergrad experience in teaching prep included:
- courses in child development & psychology, history, and pedagogy
- a one week observation at Oconee County HS
- a one semester student teaching experience at Elbert County High School (including 2-3 visits from an advising professor – this was a highlight)
- after I graduated, I never heard from UGA’s College of Education again (still haven’t)
As a result, I taught for 2 1/2 years until I burned out and left. After a few years in real estate and songwriting, I returned. Not every teacher does. I’m thankful that I did as I found a greater passion for teaching than I previously thought possible. It took me another 3-4 years to discover how much I didn’t know (as I pursued gifted certification, AP certification, and two leadership degrees).
1. More time in classrooms, sooner. Observing master teachers, terrible teachers, and everything in between.
2. More coaching and feedback (on unit plans, assessments, homework, communication, space design, and relationships).
3. Higher Standards from Professors and Advisors, as well as higher admissions standards.
4. Basic orientation in the most effective methods of teaching reading, etc.
What If Teacher Prep Programs Were More Competitive, Selective, & Demanding?